Fire destroys Smithville church

SMITHVILLE – A fire burned through an 80-year-old Smithville church Tuesday afternoon, across the street from the Geneganslet Fire Department, whose crews fought to save the building.

Geneganslet Fire Chief Bob Whitmore said the incident began when two children came running into the fire department screaming for help.

The two children located Andy Parkhurst, an employee of the Jerome Fire Equipment Company and a volunteer fireman for the Village of Mexico in Oswego County, who had been hired by the local department to perform routine service maintenance.

“We had a fireman here from Mexico, who was actually here to do some service work for us. The two kids ran into the firehouse and said pillars of smoke were rolling out of the bell tower from the church across the street,” said Whitmore.

Parkhurst ran to the door and glanced across the street, State Route 41, to the First Presbyterian Church. He immediately went back inside, called 911, got his fire gear and ran across the road to help.

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