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Religious group grateful fire didn't spread into thrift store

The electrical fire sparked early Friday morning

FRESNO, Calif. - 4141 Ministries is counting their blessings after a fire that ravaged their pastor's office didn't spread to damage one of their biggest programs.

Firefighters early this morning worked fast to put out the fire at the Iglesia Revelación Cristiana church near Fresno and Ashlan. 4141 Ministries is currently renting out space from the church.

The group's pastor, Tom Sims, and the Fresno Fire Department said the fire sparked due to faulty wiring with a light switch.

"My morning started at 4 a.m. with a call from the fire department that the building was on fire," Sims said.

Sims said he'll take the hit and is just relieved the rest of the church survived.

"It's just stuff. Most of it, fortunately, was just my stuff," he said. "Operating a ministry, running our offices, serving the community -- those are the things we want to make sure are taken care of."

One of those things is the group's thrift shop, which is right outside of Sims' office. The fire took out the building's electricity, so employees could only accept cash as payment. Also, the whole store smelled of smoke.

However, it was business-as-usual Friday.

Ann Ehrlich has worked there since it opened up nine years ago. She said the store has not only helped people get work experience -- but gives neighborhood residents a place to get both day-to-day essentials and spiritual guidance.

"This is a hub for [the neighborhood], this is their store," Ehrlich said. "This is their store. This is where they shop...[a place] someone can come talk to [someone else]."

The store operates highly on donations, you can connect with 4141 Ministries by calling them at 559-408-5359.

You can also visit these links:

Iglesia Revelación Cristiana's pastor Marcos Garcia said the church does have fire insurance. Also, church services for the weekend are not affected.


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