Early morning fire damages St. Mary’s Church

MD-Fire damages St Mary church

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
An early morning fire destroyed the rectory at the St. Marys church in Cambridge Monday morning. No one was injured.

CAMBRIDGE — Firefighters from 12 companies and two counties battled a fire that broke out Monday morning at a church rectory in Cambridge.

Firefighters from the Rescue Fire Company responded to an alarm call shortly after 6 a.m. from the St. Mary’s Refuge of Sinners Catholic Church on Glasgow Street. They arrived to find the rectory was fully engulfed in flames.

There were no reported injuries. Officials said that Pastor William Lawler was out of town, when the fire occurred. The pastor lives in the rectory, and his cat was out of the building during the fire and presumed safe.

The Banner talked to Cambridge Police Chief Daniel Dvorak at the scene, who said that the pastor was fine. “We fed him this morning, made sure he had a place to stay tonight,” said the chief. “He left yesterday afternoon, and was visiting his family in Wilmington. He’s lost everything. He’s got one set of clothes on his back, and he has to figure out what to do next.

“I think the takeaway from this (the St. Mary’s fire and the Nazarene fire last month), is to really have a look at your house,” said Chief Dvorak. “Check your electrical, make sure you’re not overloading circuits, make sure you don’t have too many power strips plugged in, make sure you don’t have electronics that are getting too hot.” A fire like this, the chief continued, “happens so quickly. Everything here was on an alarm system, and even though RFC showed up so quickly, fire just ravages a building like this.”

The St. Mary’s fire is the second church fire in the neighborhood, as the Church of the Nazarene — within sight of St. Mary’s — burned as a result of an electrical problem on Sept. 16. Chief Dvorak stated that the proximity of the fires appeared to be completely coincidental.

The roof of the rectory collapsed during the fire, and the eastern end of the rectory appears to be the worst end affected by the fire, but the building is likely to be a total loss. The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office was investigating the fire late Monday morning, but offered no comment as to the cause by the Banner deadline.

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