Updated: Fire Ruins Historical Hebron Church - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Fire Ruins Historical Hebron Church

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Firefighters battle a fire at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Hebron on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (Photo: WBOC) Firefighters battle a fire at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Hebron on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (Photo: WBOC)
WBOC Chopper 16 aerial photo of Tuesday's fire at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Hebron. WBOC Chopper 16 aerial photo of Tuesday's fire at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Hebron.
HEBRON, Md.- Authorities are investigating a Tuesday fire that destroyed the historical St. Paul's Episcopal Church at the corner of Memory Gardens Lane and Route 50 in Hebron.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was reported by a passerby to 9-1-1 shortly after 11 a.m.  Father Ryan Glancey is an episcopal priest at another church in the diocese and is the one who made the 9-1-1 call.

"Just black smoke coming through the windows at the top.  And then the flames came out of the roof about 20 feet and then all the windows downstairs started to break and the sides fell in," Glancey said.

Nearly 100 firefighters from numerous fire departments from Wicomico County and Delaware responded to the fire, which quickly escalated to three alarms, investigators said.

There were no reported injuries. The origin and cause of the fire are currently under investigation. Preliminary damage is estimated at approximately $500,000, according to investigators.

St. Paul's, also known also known as Spring Hill Church, recently celebrated its 240th anniversary in October 2013. The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976.

Rev. Ronald Knapp is the head priest at the church and said work was recently done on the building to make sure something like this doesn't happen.

"We just put new shutters on it, new roof, new electricity, to keep this kind of thing from happening because we had old knob and tube wiring in there that rats were eating.  So we've done some good things and to me, this is unbelievable."

Over 240 years of history erased in just a few minutes.
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