Sheldon, Iowa – Demolition of a Sheldon church building that was damaged in a fire more than five and a half years ago has apparently begun.
It was Sunday afternoon, September 25, 2016, when fire crews were called to Bethel Reformed Church, located at the corner of 7th Street and 6th Avenue in Sheldon, to reports of smoke in the building. . The fire was reported by Communidad Cristiana, a Spanish-speaking denomination, which was holding a worship service inside the Bethel Church building that afternoon.
At the time, Bethel Reform leaders said the fire started on the third floor of the building’s educational wing. They say it appears to be from the wiring of one of the light fixtures. In addition to the fire damage, which they say was quickly brought under control by firefighters, there was quite a bit of water damage and smoke filled most of the building.
Church leaders later determined that the building was uninhabitable. For the past few months, the process of demolishing the church building has been in the planning stage, with ID Excavating, the company secured by Bethel for the demolition of the structure, receiving permission from Sheldon City Council to blockade temporarily the one-block section of 7th Street that faces the building, in order to facilitate the demolition project. The company had indicated that it planned to start demolition around April 15.
Since Monday, most of the site has been cordoned off with yellow snow-like fencing and demolitions have been carried out on the east side, including the demonstration of the east entrance and the removal of the large shrine windows.
Once the church building is demolished and the remains removed from the site, the future will see the construction of multi-family housing in this location.
Photos by KIWA staff