Fruita church fire investigated

A small fire was reported late Thursday night on the roof of Victory Life Church, 2066 U.S. Highway 6&50, Fruita. Investigators told the pastor that a series of halogen lights, mounted on a tripod on the roof, may have fallen over and burned through. The lights are set on a timer to illuminate a cross on the church roof. Heavy smoke damage in the sanctuary was a primary concern, but cleanup efforts are under way.

A small fire on the roof of a Fruita church on Thursday night was still under investigation, officials said Friday.

Lower Valley Fire Protection District Capt. Gene Holder declined to characterize a fire reported at 10:45 p.m. at Victory Life Church, 2066 U.S. Highway 6&50, as either a suspected accident or suspicious in nature. The Fruita agency responded with a pair of engines, a water tender, ladder truck and ambulance before requesting assistance from the Grand Junction Fire Department.

The fire was out within about 10 minutes of arriving, Holder said.

An investigator from Grand Junction examined the scene Thursday night and returned Friday morning, he said. No injuries were reported.

Surveillance video from the interior of the church was being reviewed, Holder said.

Victory Life Senior Pastor Bob Cook said investigators told him they believe a series of halogen lights, which were mounted on a tripod on the roof, might have fallen over and burned through a layer of plastic, setting fire to a wood layer underneath. The halogen lights, which work on a timer, were illuminating a cross on the roof.

Cook said heavy smoke damage in the sanctuary was a primary concern Friday. Victory Life members and volunteers gathered Friday for cleanup efforts and were expected to return today. They plan to worship there Sunday and open the church’s preschool by Monday, he said.

A damage estimate wasn’t immediately available.

“We’re thankful,” Cook said. “It could have been much worse.”


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