BROCTON – The historic Tri-Church Parish Building at 35 Main St. (Route 20) was destroyed by fire early Sunday.
Firefighters from seven areas rushed to the red brick structure at about 1:30 a.m., according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office. The structure was fully involved when Brocton firefighters arrived.
No one was injured, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The church was built in 1903 and has been the home of three combined parishes for about 25 years. Methodist congregations in Brocton and Portland and a Lutheran church in Brocton merged to form the parish.
Carol Zirkle, a member of the church, said that all the regular parishioners were contacted by phone early Sunday and urged to attend services at United Methodist Church of Westfield. She added that church members were told that an administrative meeting will be convened to discuss relocating services and other gatherings held in the old church.
Rick Cole, battalion coordinator for Chautauqua County firefighters, said the landmark building was important to the community.
Zirkle noted the fire also melted the exterior of the caretaker’s home next to the church. She said the gas service at the home, which once was the parsonage for the church, was turned off as a safeguard.
The Rev. Norma VanderPool, who presided over services at the church previously, noted the church will be greatly missed by residents of the community.