Fire Began In Dining Hall
At Rear, Spreads Throughout
By LIBBY CUDMORE & JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
MILFORD – Almost a dozen fire crews at this hour are battling a blaze at the Milford United Methodist Church at 89 Main St.
The crews, including Milford, Oneonta, Cooperstown, Mount Vision, Schenevus and several others appeared to have the blaze under control, but it was burning too hot to be extinguished. It appeared likely the building will be a total loss.
Efforts are concentrating on the belltower at this hour (10 p.m.)
The fire broke out at the back of the church – the office and dining hall are located there, said Scott Heiland, who lives across the street. By 8 p.m., the two floors in the rear were gutted, and flames had spread throughout the structure and were licking out from under the front gable.
State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who lives across the street and is treasurer of the church board, and his wife Cindy were among neighbors standing on the front lawn next to the Heiland house, along with Pastor Sylvia Barrett, who had been at dinner outside of town when she received word and hurried back.
The Cooperstown volunteers had brought their aerial truck and were attacked the blaze from the north side of the church. Oneonta Fire Chief Pat Pidgeon was directing his crew from the west side at the rear of the building.
Pastor Barrett said services will be held this coming Sunday at the Community Center in the former Presbyterian Church, a few buildings south of the burning structure.