The fire committee has been busy since being appointed at a joint meeting of the Session and Trustees on Sunday, March 8. The committee met yesterday evening to coordinate efforts over the past week. Here is an update on what has been happening.
A temporary security system was donated and installed by Safe and Sound , New Windsor, NY to help secure the building until our usual security company, CDR Security can repair and update our existing security system. Once that is done, Safe and Sound is going to donate a security camera system. Thanks so much to Dan from Safe and Sound. We still have an armed guard protecting the church at night and bright lights have been added to illuminate the building (check it out, the church looks beautiful at night).
A list of other donations received to date has been added to the website and will be updated as monies, service and goods are received. Check it out here. Most importantly we are grateful to the Newburgh Fire Department and all of the firefighters from Castle Point, Cronomer Valley, West Point, Stewart Air National Guard and Beacon for responding so quickly, confining the fire to the fellowship hall and putting the fire out before more damage was done.
The cause of the fire is still not clear but the claims adjuster from Travelers Insurance has given approval to start work in the building. Belfor Property Restoration has been retained to work with the insurance company, doing the clean up of the church and fellowship hall. Even though the fire confined to the main room of fellowship hall, the entire structure suffered smoke damage from the highest peak of the ceiling in the sanctuary to the basement in fellowship hall – and there is water damage too. Electrical power has been returned to part of fellowship hall which will allow clean up to start. Temporary lighting has been installed.
Our phone system suffered damage and Peter S is meeting with Verizon today to try to get it back up and functioning. Upon completion of the repairs, the church phone number will forwarded to Helen “F who is continuing to work from home until temporary office space can be set up at 120 South Street.
This morning, Sue Y, Roy P and Carol L will be working to peel back the layers of the stained glass window on the stage. Next week members of the fire committee will meet with Lamb Stained Glass Studios to look at this damaged window and examine the rose window (the Mary and Martha window above the pulpit area) to see what damage may have been done to it. They will provide the necessary appraisals for the insurance company with a quote for cleaning of all of the stained glass windows in the sanctuary of smoke damage. We will also be provided an appraisal of all of the windows to document the value of them for future reference.
Also next week. the committee will be meeting with someone to help start the inventory of the lost and damaged contents and with Odell to access the damaged pianos, the organ and the handbells. We already have a proposal from Foley-Baker Organ Restoration for cleaning and repair of the organ and will be getting one from Schulmerich Handbells for our handbell cases.
We have a long road ahead but as you can see we are moving forward. As John C said at the joint meeting, “How do you eat and elephant? One bite at a time.” and we working bite by bite,