Church kitchen catches fire while peanut brittle cooks

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

Aug. 30, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.

Rev. Gerald Armstrong, of Glad Tidings Apostolic Church in Victoria, was preparing a batch of peanut brittle with another church member Monday afternoon when the church kitchen caught on fire.

"We were making peanut brittle and left for about 20 minutes and when we came back, everything was filled with smoke," church member Greg Lightfoot said, describing the front entrance of the chapel.

The church's kitchen is located in the rear of the chapel, 115 Jessica Drive.

When the pair discovered smoke leaking out the front doors of the chapel about noon, they attempted to extinguish the flames with a hose and fire extinguisher until fire officials arrived.

Victoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Roger Hempel said a third-party call came in at 12:47 p.m. to report a small kitchen fire at the church.

"At this time, we're still investigating, but there was no major damage to the structure," Hempel said.

There was some fire damage to the kitchen cabinets, he said.

Lightfoot indicated he and Armstrong may have failed to turn off the stove when they left the kitchen.

"We may not have turned the knob all the way off," Lightfoot said.

Fire officials were able to put out the fire in about 10 minutes. No injuries were reporter.

"Thank goodness, it could have been a lot worse," Lightfoot said.

Victoria County Fire Marshal and Victoria Sheriff Department also responded the fire.



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