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Fire destroys old Butler County church

Pittsburgh Post GazettePittsburgh Post Gazette
Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A 125-year-old Butler County church is a total loss after a fire Sunday morning.

The blaze broke out inside McKee Chapel United Methodist Church around 8 a.m. It was discovered by a congregation member who had arrived early to warm the church before services.

He saw smoke and called 911, and seven fires companies rushed to the rural chapel in Fenelton, about eight miles east of Butler, but could not save it.

Fire marshals say a faulty furnace is to blame.

McKee Chapel had several dozen worshipers and was one of three churches pastored by the Rev. Sherry Cook.

Dean Ziegler, superintendent of the Methodist Church’s Butler district, said it is not known if the church will be rebuilt. It depends on the level of insurance compensation, the needs of the congregation and the possibility of a merger with a neighboring church.

Craigsville Methodist and Fenelton Methodist are the two closest churches and they are offering their sanctuaries as places of worship for the members of the burned-out church.

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