Monumental UMC honors first responders who helped when church caught fire


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — First responders were honored at Monumental United Methodist Church on Sunday for coming to the church’s aid when it caught fire back in January.

Three weeks after the congregation was able to reenter the church, they held a luncheon for the emergency personnel.

“Today was a special day to say thank you to our firefighters and our community servants for saving our building and helping our community each and everyday,” said Reverend Megan Saucier.

Church leaders say it will be about 18 months before things are completely back to normal for the congregation.Related: After steeple fire, Portsmouth church vows to restore historic building

The fire started while construction crews were doing repair work. Firefighters were able to put out the fire, but it reignited a second time later that same day.

The church, which has been on Dinwiddie Street since 1831 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the oldest Methodist churches in Virginia.

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