MAYVILLE- An unlikely chain of events late Friday afternoon likely caused the fire in Family Church.
From Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team:
”Witnesses advised investigators that part of the copper gutter was blown off, due to high winds, and landed on a nearby transformer. This was confirmed with assistance of National Grid and inspection of the gutter.
“When the gutter came in contact with the transformer, the entire gutter system became energized. Once energized, the electricity (positively charged) will search out a path to ground (negatively charged). In this case, the charge was found to enter the church via the soffet, which was at the base of the bell tower. The soffet is believed to have smoldered for a while, before igniting.”
Investigators say the majority of the damage occurred in the church tower, and the cause was accidental.