On Friday November 30 at 2:58 a.m. the Brewster Fire Department was dispatched to the Cape Cod Bible Alliance Church on Main Street for a reported automatic fire alarm. On arrival of the first due engine flames had already engulfed approximately 25% of the building and were rapidly spreading throughout the remaining areas of the structure. A request for additional Brewster Fire Department personnel and mutual aid resources from surrounding communities was immediately requested by the officer-in-charge. Firefighters attempted to initiate an interior attack to extinguish the blaze but were pushed back by the rapidly moving fire.
Based on these heavy fire conditions which hampered the interior attack and the lightweight wood construction of the church which inherently promotes the rapid collapse of the structure units on scene switched to a defensive exterior fire attack utilizing several elevated and ground based master stream devices. Due to the heavy fire conditions found on arrival and the type of occupancy involved, the Massachusetts State Fire Marshals Office, State Police, and ATF were requested to assist the Brewster Fire and Police Departments with the fire investigation which has resulted in the arrest of a suspect for the crime of arson. Mutual aid apparatus assisting the Brewster Fire Department at the scene included a Harwich ladder, Dennis engine, Orleans ladder and engine, Eastham engine, Chatham engine, and ambulances from Eastham, Dennis, and Harwich. Numerous mutual aid Chiefs from those communities also responded to assist the Brewster Incident Commander in managing the fire suppression operation. Additional Barnstable County fire and EMS units provided coverage for the region during the event and the American Red Cross supplied first responders with rest and rehabilitation services and refreshments. Photos by Jake O’Callaghan/CWN & Jerry Mossey