Fire Destroys Hardin County Church Landmark

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It began as a one-room school house, but the Bridgeport Church Community House has become a landmark to those who live in and around Forest, Ohio, in Hardin County.
Church officials said that early Tuesday morning, fire swept through the center and destroyed it.

Church pastor Gregg King told 10TV News that it was too early to tell how the fire would impact services and events scheduled for the community house.

“I don’t know, it’s too early to tell, we are still trying to access things,” King said.

The community house was built across from the church in the 1920s, according to King. It has served not only as a meeting place for church members, but also hosted wedding receptions and other community events.

Among the items lost in the fire were 10 sewing machines that were used by the church’s shoe box ministry, according to church officials.

They said that during the winter, church members sew clothes and stuffed animals that are boxed and sent to children in under developed nations for Christmas.

“My sewing machine was over here, along with eight or nine others, and I was just hoping it wasn’t bad, because I knew how much work had gone into the things we had taken in,” said Bridgeport Church member Lois Barringer.

Barringer said she was devastated when she saw what was left of her church’s community center.

According to the church member, the center has had to cancel three upcoming events at the community center, including the Easter brunch.

The fire will not stop the church’s Easter service, though.

WBNS-10TV contacted the Forest Fire Department for the latest on the investigation in the cause of the fire, but had not heard back at this writing.

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