Maintenance worker’s quick actions stop fire from spreading at Wenatchee church

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St. Paul's Lutheran Church photo.

Fire officials are crediting a good alarm system and a fast-acting maintenance worker with saving St. Paul’s Lutheran Church from extensive fire damage Wednesday evening.

About 6:41 p.m. a light fixture in the Wenatchee church’s kitchen caught on fire, triggering the alarm system, said Kay McKellar, public information officer for Chelan County Fire District 1.

Maintenance worker Frank Dofelmier, who was on second floor wrapping up work for the day, arrived in the kitchen to find the ceiling on fire and flames dropping on the floor, she said.

McKellar said Dofelmier used a chemical fire extinguisher to stop the spread of the fire, then evacuated the building on Palouse Street.

District 1 Fire Chief Brian Brett said Dofelmier’s quick actions slowed the fire and minimized damage to the building.

Firefighters ventilated the building and made sure everything was out before clearing the scene about 8:50.