Saturday Morning Blaze Destroys St. George Stake Center Under Construction

Contributed By Scott Taylor, Church News Managing Editor

  • 26 January 2019

Firefighters battle a blaze consuming the under-construction St. George East Stake Center early Saturday morning, January 26, 2019, in St. George, Utah. Photo courtesy of the St. George East Stake presidency Facebook page.

An early morning fire Saturday destroyed a stake center under construction across the street from the historic St. George Utah Temple.

Firefighting crews from St. George and several surrounding communities arrived shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday, January 26, to battle the blaze as residents watched. The new St. George East Stake Center, located at 453 S. 300 East, was to open later this year.

Facebook posts credited to the St. George East Stake presidency shared photos, a video, and response regarding the blaze.

“We were deeply saddened to have received a call at 2:30 a.m. informing us that our new St. George East Stake Center was on fire,” states the posted comment. “The building that we were so anticipating moving into over the next few months is gone. Those that were up watching it burn were stunned and in complete shock. Our faith is only strengthened as we work through this bump in the road.”

The fire was reported first seen on the building’s east-side attic, working its way westward. A large portion of the roof collapsed from the fire and water damage.

Firefighters worked through Saturday morning to completely extinguish hot spots. According to an article in the Deseret News, fire officials there are saying the fire was intentionally set.

The stake’s previous building was torn down in February 2018 to make room for the construction of its replacement. One of 18 stakes in the two St. George/Virgin River Coordinating Councils, the St. George East Stake is comprised of eight wards and three branches.

A day earlier, a November 4 date was announced for closure of the St. George Utah Temple for renovations.

Firefighters battle a blaze consuming the under-construction St. George East Stake Center early Saturday morning, January 26, 2019, in St. George, Utah. Photo courtesy of the St. George East Stake presidency Facebook page.

Firefighters battle a blaze consuming the under-construction St. George East Stake Center early Saturday morning, January 26, 2019, in St. George, Utah. Photo courtesy of the St. George East Stake presidency Facebook page.

Firefighters battle a blaze consuming the under-construction St. George East Stake Center early Saturday morning, January 26, 2019, in St. George, Utah. Photo courtesy of the St. George East Stake presidency Facebook page.

Firefighters battle a blaze consuming the under-construction St. George East Stake Center early Saturday morning, January 26, 2019, in St. George, Utah. Photo courtesy of the St. George East Stake presidency Facebook page.