Fire burns North Bend church

NORTH BEND, Ore.--- The First United Methodist Church of North Bend is a total loss after a fire that started in the attic burned the church from end to end.

The fire started Tuesday morning just before 11 a.m.

The only person in the building was the church secretary, who told KCBY News she "heard a noise and smelled smoke and got out."

Pastor Jerry Steele said he may have lost his building, he didn't lose his church.

"The church is not a building," Steele said. "The church is the people who meet in the building."

The Coos Bay United Methodist Church said it will do everything it can to help out its sister church.

The church has a congregation of about 115 people, many of whom came out to see the fire for themselves.

Steele said the church has insurance and will rebuild, but right now he is thankful that no one was injured.

Steele, who lives in Coquille, described driving up Highway 101 to his church today as heartbreaking and discouraging.

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