A campaign has been launched to help restore a history church near Port Hope, Ont., which was damaged by fire early Saturday.
The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal is investigating a blaze which broke out around 5:40 a.m. at the Wesleyville United Church on Lakeshore Road, about 10 km west of Port Hope.
Northumberland OPP say damage is extensive to the interior and entrance of the church, which was originally built in 1860 and closed in 1969. The building was restored in 2010 by The Friends of Wesleyville Village, a volunteer-led group of about 150 members who restore and repair sites in the historic village.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation but is suspicious in nature, officials say.
On its Facebook page, The Friends of Wesleyville Village says it’s too early to estimate the cost of repairs or insurance coverage.
“Offers of help are pouring in and we are grateful,” the group stated.
Blake Holton of Holton Flowers in Port Hope has launched a campaign to support the restoration and encourages donations at his business on Walton Street.
“I don’t care how much it is. We’ll enter you to win flowers every month for a year and a $100 gift certificate for dinner at the Social Bar and Table,” he stated. “Please help us. This building houses so many awesome spirits from the past. It’s our civic duty.”
Northumberland OPP say anyone with information on the fire is asked to call them at 1-888-310-1122 or anonymously via the Peterborough/Northumberland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) where you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000 and not have to appear in court. You can also submit information online.