The Georgetown Presbyterian Church, a restored building in the heart of Georgetownn that hauses one of the first-established congregations in the city, was damaged last night in a fire that broke out in an annex and sent smoke billowing through the sanctuary.
The cause of the fire at the church at 3115 P St. NW could not be learned early this morning, but arson investigators were called to the scene. There were no injuries.
The blaze, which began shortly after 9 p.m., drew scores of spectators on a hot, sticky night as firefighters filled P Street with pumper trucks and snaking hose lines. Although the fire was largely confined to a kitchen and stage on the first floor of the three-story, 25-year-old annex, smoke spread through the main church building. The annex also inculdes an auditorium and classrooms for activities of the church, which was founded in 1780.
The main building also received some water damage to the vestibule. The building was erected orginally in 1821 at 30th and M streets NW, with President Monroe laying the cornerstone.
In 1873, after being taken down brick by brick, it was rebuilt on its present site, with President Grant laying the cornerstone. Allen W. Dulles, then head of the CIA, laid the cornerstone when the building was renovated in 1956.
late last night , the pastor, the Rev. Campbell Gillom, made a tour of the still-smoky building.
"All in all," he told a reported, it could have been a lot worse."