Church gives back to IFD after fire

Church members are saying thank you Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, after firefighters battled a fire. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dozens of firefighters ate for free Friday night, thanks to members of a north side church that caught fire last month. Members of St. Monica church said thanks to the men and woman who fought that fire by feeding them and organizing a mass in their honor.

Deputy Fire Chief Arthur Borel wasn’t scheduled to work the morning of Sept. 9. But when he heard part of the church he attends was on fire, he sprung out of bed and got to the scene.

“I could actually see flames going up over the tree tops,” Borel said. “This was a heck of a save. This could have gotten to the sanctuary and we probably wouldn’t be open for another three or four years.”

He didn’t ask for anything in return, and neither did his fellow firefighters.

But that’s not stopping church members at St. Monica from saying thank you.

Thirty firefighters received free fajitas delivered to their firehouse Friday night from Puerto Vallarta. The restaurant owners are members of the church.

“Not many people give thanks to them, and I want to be part of the people that do give thanks, and give them something back because they give so much to us,” Assistant Manager Jose Vargas said.

The firefighters who could it make we’re treated to steak dinners at St. Monica. But first, they filled the gym for prayer.

“The kids are calling this the ‘churchnasium,'” Father Todd Goodson said of the gym where mass is held until the church is repaired. The school portion of St. Monica wasn’t significantly damaged by the fire.

“That fire could have spread and done much more damage much more quickly if they had not been there and responded so quickly,” Goodson said.

Church leaders said over the next couple months part of the building will be demolished and reconstruction will start.

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