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‘Not again’: Church struggles after flood, and now a fire

Robyn Spoor, of the Church at the Hub, in front of the area where a fire was lit resulting in damage to the building. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Robyn Spoor, of the Church at the Hub, in front of the area where a fire was lit resulting in damage to the building. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Update Friday, 3.50pm: JUST six months after the devastating floods, a Lismore church has suffered another blow after a fire came close to engulfing the building.

Robyn Spoor, of the Church@TheHub, inspected the damage this morning after being called by emergency services.

"It's very surprising after the flood, it's been like 'oh no not again'," Ms Spoor said.

She said the fire started about an hour after church leaders left a weekly meeting.

It is uncertain as to whether the church will be open on Sunday depending on the fire damage.

But Ms Spoor said she and her husband and pastor at the church Tim were thankful for the efforts of emergency services. 

"We are very happy with the firies for being able to be so quick and attend to the fire, very relieved for that."

 

Update Friday, 1pm: BUSINESSES say last night's CBD fire was "too close for comfort" as firies moved quickly to save an inner city church building from going up in flames.

Just day two into starting her Shiatsu Therapy business, Penelope Sienna said the fire was an unwelcome start.

Ms Sienna operates within the Inner Light Centre, situated above the church were the fire started.

The strong smell of smoke wafting through the top floor and the hole cut by firies to help contain the blaze last night are the remains of what Ms Sienna said could have spelled the end of her business.

She said if the fire took hold of the wooden floors, the building could have gone up like a tinderbox.

"It was a matter of minutes, you can just see it - it's full of flammable materials you know," Ms Sienna said.

One of the main operators at the centre was called in the building at 11.30pm when fire fighters inspected the damage to the second floor.

She said they spent hours cleaning the white soot that carpeted the floor during the height of the fire.

Nearby CBD business owner, Gloria McPherson was shocked when she inspected the damage beside business, which fronts out onto Keen St.

"It could have been disastrous," she said.

Just metres from her business, Ms McPherson said the blaze was "too close for comfort".

 

Friday 9.47am: FIRE fighters say an inner CBD building was saved by mere minutes from being destroyed by fire last night.

Leading fire fighter at Lismore Fire and Rescue, Adam Cormick said two crews rushed to the Eggins Ln building just before 11pm last night.

He said fire fighters cut a hole in the ground floor of the two-storey building to access and contain part of the fire to avoid it taking hold of the business.

Crews battled the blaze into the early hours of the morning.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire.

More to come. 

Friday 7.40am: A MAN has been arrested after allegedly lighting fires in the Lismore CBD, one of which damaged a church building.

A man has been arrested after allegedly lighting fires in the Lismore CBD, one of which damaged the Church at the Hub in Eggins Lane.
A man has been arrested after allegedly lighting fires in the Lismore CBD, one of which damaged the Church at the Hub in Eggins Lane. Marc Stapelberg

Police will allege that at 10.15pm last night, a 61-year-old Loftville man walked up to a bin in Eggins Lane and set the contents on fire.

"Once the flames have gone down he has returned and set it on fire again," the Richmond LAC posted on Facebook."

"At 10.29pm the 61-year-old moved the still on fire bin to the rear doorway of the Church at the Hub building.

"He put the bin at the rear doors, which caused the doors to catch on fire.

"NSW Fire Brigade arrived and extinguished the fire."

A mans been arrested after allegedly lighting fires in the Lismore CBD, one of which damaged the Church at the Hub in Eggins Lane.
A mans been arrested after allegedly lighting fires in the Lismore CBD, one of which damaged the Church at the Hub in Eggins Lane. Marc Stapelberg

Police attended soon after and arrested the man.

"At Lismore Police Station the 61-year-old smeared blood all over a cell, which now has to be forensically cleaned," police said.

The 61-year-old man was charged with damaging property by fire and destroying property.

He will appear in Lismore Local Court next month. 

Topics:  arrest fire fire fighters lismore cbd northern rivers crime northern rivers emergency



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