ALTON BAY, N.H. – A massive fire damaged or destroyed dozens of wood-frame buildings, mostly unoccupied summer homes, at a 146-year-old Christian center on Easter.
The fire erupted at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, when Christians were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But the season hadn't begun yet at the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center on Lake Winnipesaukee, and William Degnan said no injuries to civilians had been reported.
"Fortunately, it was at this time of year," he said. "During the summer, it's full."
It was cold and windy Sunday, and Degnan said the strong winds off the lake, the state's biggest, helped spread the flames through the many cottage-style homes at the center, about 30 miles northeast of Concord.
Witnesses said they watched as buildings burned to the ground in minutes.
"As I was looking across the bay, I could see 600 feet of flame lengthwise," John Lobdell told the News 9 television station in Manchester. "The whole entire camp ground looked like it was up in flames."
One firefighter was hurt when a propane tank exploded. Others were treated for smoke inhalation or exhaustion.
The fire was under control by about 8:30 p.m.
The center's Web site says its purpose is to change lives in part by "encouraging commitment to Jesus." It says it tries to accomplish this through evangelism, encouragement of believers and equipping Christians to be effective leaders.
The center, founded in 1863, is on the southeastern corner of the lake. Besides cottages, it features a 70-room motel and a park for recreational vehicles.
The chairman of the center's safety organization, Russell Sample, was with Degnan as crews from numerous surrounding towns worked on the fire, whose cause hadn't been determined. Link
It is very tragic to see anyone's home burned down in flames. Possessions gone. Memories destroyed.
But in any and all disasters, Christians would gather together to cope and pray. When this is deemed a natural or accidental disaster, Christians unite and say it is the will of God. Time to rebuild. Such a nice sentiment of hope!
I'm going to go off-tangent here (so rant mode on).
When any disaster occurred in a town such as New Orleans, Katrina or NYC, 911, etc .... remember how Tele-evangelists would explain these tragic events as an Act of God's Anger?! These political Christians describe these tragedies as God's punishment upon sinners. It is God's rage over the moral injustice that man have embraced!
The moral fiber of America have decayed.
The events of 911 was a wake-up call that God allowed because America embraced abortion, feminism and homosexuality. Link
The California wildfires were due to homosexuality because the largest Gay population reside in California. Link
Katrina occurred because New Orleans was a godless, perverted, sinful city.
Wait, Katrina was actually God's displeasure over Ellen DeGeneres to host the Emmy Awards.
I can so hear it now, the next natural disaster upon American soil would be God's wrath because several States have passed laws to allow same-sex marriage.
This will be the interpretation from Christian Activists. They will be reading and aligning the next storm as Biblical Plague to Sodom and Gomorrah!
God is Angry! America must be punished! Repent or be destroyed!!
How incredible it is that we as God's creation with small, finite minds can understand and interpret the mindset of an infinite God?!
How foolish Christians are to say that this is God's wrath against a group, a sector, a value that they oppose.
And equally mind-boggling when tragedy such as the fire at this NH Christian Center would be viewed by Christians as just an accident and nothing to do with sinners and God's wrath.
Wake up America! These Political Religious Conservatives and Tele-Evangelists are using FEAR to mobilize, to create solidarity in their ranks and to gain financial support for their selfish cause. They push the theory that sin = storm! And if you buy into this - I pity you!
Aligning natural disasters on America's political or moral values is illogical, ridiculous, and self-contradicting.
Similarly, it would be illogical for me to say how hurricane activity have significantly increased as George W. Bush rose in the polls and how these Red States being pounded by severe storms have extremely homophobic laws on their books!