Storm Causes Church Roof to Collapse

Church no match for Mother Nature

By John Schriffen
|  Friday, Aug 13, 2010  |  Updated 3:57 PM EDT
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Heavy rain made the roof of From the Heart Church Ministries collapse in <a title=Camp Springs, Md." />

John Schriffen

Heavy rain made the roof of From the Heart Church Ministries collapse in Camp Springs, Md.

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The storm that rolled through this morning did a number on the roof of a church in Camp Springs, Md.

Prince George’s County Fire and Rescue said sometime between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., the storm left behind a 50-foot wide hole on top of the From The Heart Church Ministries building.

“During the torrential rains, a large amount of water pooled on one particular area of this flat roof,” said Mark Brady, Prince George’s Fire and Rescue spokesman. “It got so heavy that it collapsed.”

The collapse was directly above the main sanctuary area, and as bad as it looked outside, it was even worse inside, Brady said.

“During the collapse, the utility lines were broken, including natural gas, electricity and water,” Brady said. “The water flowed freely for a couple of hours and that probably did as much damage to the interior of the building as the roof collapse itself.”

It was so bad at one point that water was flowing almost a foot high out of every door of the converted furniture building.

Four adults and about a dozen children inside the school section of the building at the time, Brady said. Fortunately, they were far away from the damage and were all able to make it out OK.

As soon as parishioners got word of the collapse, many rushed over to check out the damage. Those who spoke to NBC4 remained positive.

“We’re just one of those people that’s just concerned about what’s going on and we want to make sure what is going on is that no one was hurt, so that’s the main thing,” said Angie Abbey.

But safety officials said it’s important to do inspections on your roof to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

“You know we had a lot of snow back in February, and some of that snow may have caused the ceiling roof area to sag, and that’s where the water will tend to accumulate,” said Brady. “If it gets heavy enough as it did here, it fell through and collapsed.”

So if you have concerns about your roof, call a professional to check it.

Due to the damages, Sunday services on Aug. 15 and Aug. 22 will be held at 9:30 a.m. at Show Place Arena, 14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro, Md.

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