Vacant church erupts in flames in Wilton Manors

Fire is largest Wilton Manors has experienced in more than 20 years

A vacant church went up in flames Wednesday morning in Wilton Manors.

WILTON MANORS, Fla. – A vacant church went up in flames Wednesday morning in Wilton Manors.

The church is located at 1550 NE 26th St.

Sky 10 was above the scene at 6 a.m. as firefighters were working to extinguish the large fire.

People who live in the area told Local 10 News reporter Saira Anwer that the building hasn’t operated as a church in about 10 years and officials confirmed it was set to be demolished within the next six months.

The property owner was called to the scene by the mayor.

According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan, Wilton Manors police were patrolling the area when they noticed flames coming from the church at 3:55 a.m.

Firefighters arrived at the scene to find flames coming through the roof.

Abandoned church goes up in flames in Wilton Manors

About 25 units totaling about 75 firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire. Crews attacked the fire from above from multiple ladder trucks with more crews trying to contain it from the ground. Fire Rescue also requested assistance from the state fire marshal’s office and the ATF.

The entrances of the church had been boarded up to prevent squatters and trespassers.

“We had a homeless situation in the past. Had to board the building, and that’s one of the reasons we were going to demolish it,” said Larry Baum, of Stellar Communities.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue officials say this is the biggest fire Wilton Manors has seen in more than 20 years.

It’s still unclear what caused the fire.


About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.