Prayers come to the aid of firemen at Brandon fire
Members of Harvest Centre Church in Brandon witnessed their building being saved from an approaching fire as prayers went up and the wind died down.
Samuele Corciulo, pastor at the Harvest Centre Church, was working in one of the church offices when the smell of smoke alerted him to the fire next door. He rushed out to see thick smoke shooting out of a building adjacent to an industrial storage unit.
“It truly was God’s hand protecting us,” said Samuele. “It was a very windy day and the fire spread in less than two hours to the boundary of our land. We prayed for the wind to stop, and it suddenly did stop.
“What is interesting is that on the previous Sunday I had preached a sermon based on Mark 4:35-41 about when Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves. Particularly in verse 41 we read about the reaction of the disciples: ‘They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”’
“I did feel like I was experiencing the same thing, but in another context. One of the firemen attending the site said to me that if the wind would have not stopped, most probably they would have not been able to save our building.”
Around 75 firefighters responded to the blaze, which nearby workers believe started in a garage before spreading to the unit, which they say was full of insulation sheets.
The church, which also runs a foodbank, and offers a space to the social services and NHS, is made of metal cladding and glass and has only been left with a few of its side windows cracked, a door and some electric wires melted from the heat.
Samuele praised the firefighters for doing a ‘brilliant job’ and added: "We're extremely sorry for our neighbours who lost everything."
Pictured above is Samuele Corciulo outside the Harvest Centre Church and, below, a fireman hosing down damaged buildings. Images: Sarah Hussain, EDP