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Fire at Nisswa church starts in kitchen

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The Nisswa Fire Department responds to reports of a kitchen fire at Timberwood Church in Nisswa on the morning of Friday, April 20, after a sprinkler system extinguished the fire but created a need for a cleanup. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video 3 / 3

NISSWA—Timberwood Church did not go up in flames thanks to a sprinkler system that put out a kitchen fire at the Nisswa place of worship in the early morning hours of Friday, April 20.

No one was in the building, which is along Highway 371, at about 9 a.m. when the Nisswa Fire Department responded and the Brainerd Fire Department was contacted for mutual aid, but not needed.

"There was a fire alarm that went through our alarm company to the Nisswa Fire Department ... and they discovered smoke in the building," said the Rev. John Just, pastor of the church.

"My understanding is Brainerd Fire also had two vehicles that responded, but were canceled before they arrived on site."

The self-described "Bible-based, outreach-oriented church" is nestled among the trees near Gull Lake and located about 20 minutes north of Brainerd in Crow Wing County.

"It looked like the building was full of smoke," Just said after arriving at the church. "It appears to have started on a stovetop."

Nisswa Fire Chief Shawn Bailey was on the scene and said firefighters upon their arrival discovered a small kitchen fire that was already put out.

"The sprinkler system had activated and put the fire out. We gained entry through the end of the kitchen and from that point, we were able to verify where the fire was," Bailey said.

Just said, "They found the water flowing out of the kitchen."

Staff walked around barefoot inside the church as the water was being suctioned up from the carpet area by the kitchen.

In 2004, Timberwood Church's first pastor was hired and began. The church's first public worship service was scheduled for Easter of that same year, according to its website.

For five years, congregation members would meet at the Nisswa Community Center, and in 2009 the church relocated to its current location off Highway 371.

"There was really no structural damage to the building. We'll need to do some water cleanup, and we will be open for services on Sunday morning at 9 and 10:30."

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