Topic: Whiteley Memorial Methodist Church - fire

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Whiteley Memorial Church (1959) 

The scaffolding surrounding the Whiteley Memorial Methodist Church did not help the fire brigade in their efforts to stop the fire that had taken hold in the roof on 18th February 1959. The church was undergoing extensive restoration and the steep roof had been replaced with corrugated iron. It is thought the fire had been smouldering away for some hours unnoticed.

Despite the best efforts of the fire brigade stationed just across the road, the church was gutted. Only a few items hastily grabbed by Rev Greenslade were saved, including the church's historic bible. Greenslade's left wrist was burned and fireman David Vernon Sutton obtained injuries when a falling beam struck his head.

The scene following the fire was described in the Taranaki Herald February 19th, 1959

"The three beautiful stained glass windows at the western end of the building remained intact. Light streaming through them provided the only touch of beauty in a scene that jarred the mind."



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