Furnace explosion likely cause of area church fire

Fire causes extensive damage to Wrightsville Chapel

A fire Saturday afternoon caused extensive damage to the Wrightsville Chapel on Highway 12/27 between Black River Falls and Merrillan.

The Black River Falls Fire Chief Steve Schreiber said the cause of the fire was a possible furnace explosion. No one was injured, but the building was not insured.

Reverend Terry Marg told News 8 the fire caused extensive damage, but he’s not sure the cost estimate at this time. Reverend Marg said the fire was contained to one corner of the back interior wall, but some parishioners’ personal  items were destroyed, like wedding and family photos.

Bibles, hymnals were also destroyed due to the heat and smoke damage, Reverend Marg said. The pews were somewhat salvageable, but the cushions were destroyed.

The congregation will move to Shamrock Union Church in Shamrock, Wisconsin, on the other side of Black River Falls near Sparta.