29 Jul 16

July 27, 2016

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St. Isidore church goes up in flames

Candice Vetter

Villager Staff

ISIDORE—Saint Isidore Catholic Church in St. Isidore burned to the ground in a fiery conflagration on Sat., July 23.

The stone church, built in 1879, was reported by local residents in the village to have been struck by lightning in the afternoon. Around 6 p.m. the church’s steeple, by then a burnt-out metal frame, toppled. The loss is an incalculable blow to the small community, which will miss the elegant building in the centre of the village. It leaves the congregation without a church, although it has been rumoured they may consider either attending another Catholic church in a nearby community or renting a space for the time being. No injuries were reported but the village was evacuated for several hours while flames roared up through the roof and smoke filled the air. The Nation Fire Department (St. Isidore, Fournier, St. Albert, St. Bernardin and Limoges stations) and Casselman Fire Department attended, as well as Maxville, Vankleek Hill and Plantagenet tanker trucks. About 55 firefighters were there altogether.

“I am very proud of our firefighters in The Nation and also our neighbouring firefighters who did a wonderful job of working two major fires overlapping with no injuries and no secondary or exposure losses,” said Nation Fire Chief Tobias Hovey. “This I believe is because of the commitment that each one of these firefighters make to training continuously to be great firefighters and not only their strong commitment to their community but also to all neighbourhood communities.”

Many of the same firefighters also helped quench a devastating barn fire in Clarence-Rockland and a commercial building fire in Embrun the same weekend.