Early morning fire levels Penn Valley Community Church (VIDEO) | TheUnion.com

Early morning fire levels Penn Valley Community Church (VIDEO)

An early morning fire engulfed the Penn Valley Community Church on Spenceville Road in this archive photo from September 2014.
JOHN HART/jhart@theunion.com |

By the time Pastor David Hagey got the call to come down to the site of Penn Valley Community Church, firefighters were already at the tail end of a losing battle early Saturday morning. No injuries were reported, though, and the fire did not spread to other buildings in the area.

Hagey thanked God for that.

“We give thanks for the Lord and His providence that he has allowed this,” Hagey said.“It was his; it belonged to him, and if he wants to burn it up that’s his business.”

“We’re just going to continue spreading the gospel that sins can be forgiven, and you can be confident of a home in heaven when you trust in Christ,” he said. “That’s our message, and that message has not been thwarted.”

The building appeared to be a total loss, according to Clayton Thomas with the Penn Valley Fire Protection District, and no cause had been determined as of Sunday afternoon. Thomas said they were able to salvage some Bibles, paperwork, and a couple computers — but that was it.

Hagey called the loss of his place of worship a surprise, but he did not seem overly distressed.

“It’s just a building, and those things can be rebuilt,” he said.

This week’s Sunday service was moved over to the nearby Seventh Day Adventist Church on Penn Valley Drive. That denomination conducts their worship services on Saturday, so sharing the facility did not present a scheduling conflict.

“I’m extremely thankful for their generosity,” Hagey said. “They’ve been nothing but gracious in extending that building to us, so we’re very thankful.”

Later this week he’ll be meeting with members of the congregation to decide on a plan going forward.

They’re not asking for help or donations at this time, but anyone looking to contact the Penn Valley Community Church can still do so through the phone number listed on their website at 530-432-1161.

“Thanks to technology today, voice over Internet protocol, the church number still works,” Hagey said. “The building is gone, but we still have an operating phone system.”

The fire at Penn Valley Community Church was reported to 911 dispatchers at 3:50 a.m., although it is believed to have started earlier than that. Responding agencies included the Penn Valley Fire Protection District, Rough and Ready Fire District, Grass Valley Fire Department, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, Higgins Fire District, Ophir Hill Fire District, the Smartsville Fire District and Cal Fire.

To contact staff writer Dave Brooksher, send emails to dbrooksher@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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