By Derick Deonarain
The Aurora United Church, which stood atop Yonge St. for almost 140 years, was left to ruins after a massive fire engulfed the building on Friday.
Central York Fire Services updated the public with the latest announcement that stated the fire was accidentally caused by the company working on the churches roof.
Workers were in themiddle of fixing a hole on top of the building when a small fire broke out.
According to a report from CP24, Fire Chief Ian Laing said the fire was accidental and that charges are not warranted.
The church was built in 1878 and was a beloved landmark for the people of Aurora, ON, said Sean Wilson, 23, a long time resident of Aurora and a regular United Church goer.
“I think the loss of this church is really sad. It meant a lot to a lot of people in our town and I think it’ll be even sadder if they don’t rebuild it,” he explained.
Wilson, who recalled fond memories of his time at the United Church said he’ll always have a soft spot for the town’s landmark.
“I remember when I was kid and we were doing the Christmas carols, it was only supposed to be the church’s choir singing but my grandma kept on singing. Everyone noticed and everyone in the church started chuckling and singing along. I’ll always have a place in my heart for those moments,” Wilson told Humber News.
The waves of support from the public has been immense and the church took time on Monday to thank it’s parishioner’s in a statement on their website from Aurora United Church Council Chair Rod Johnson.
United also announced that they would move forward with their final Rise and Shine community breakfast on Saturday April 19 at the neighbouring Trinity Anglican Church.
“These tragic events are very unfortunate but we’re trying our best to help out in any way that we can,” said Lorraine Bell, a representative of Trinity Anglican Church.
She added that Trinity has helped with accommodations and providing safe spaces for members of United.
While local residents may be trying to cope with the loss of the United Church, officials are saying now is good time to review fire and safety methods.
“By using working smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and by having a home fire escape plan, people may be able to prevent injuries or death during a fire,” said a representative from Toronto’s Fire and Safety Prevention.