Demolition of Saginaw church casts large stones into nearby occupied dental office | News

SAGINAW, Mich. (WJRT) – The demolition of a Saginaw church didn’t go exactly as planned, as bricks came crashing through windows of a nearby dental office.

The falling debris also caused a gas leak at the building.

There were no injuries, but there were a number of employees and patients in the dental office when some of the remnants of the church’s chimney came crashing through a few windows.

“So much history, so much history with the city of Saginaw,” says Shelley Edlinger, who was watching the beginning to today’s demolition.

Even as its getting knocked down, the former First Baptist Church building on Jefferson next to the Dow Event Center is making history.

It was around ten in the morning when Dore and Associates Contracting began the delicate process of bringing down the bricks of the building.

Some of the bricks apparently bounced off the roof of the church and came crashing through the windows of the nearby Great Lakes Bay Health Center dental office.

The mishap also caused a gas leak.

“Kind of came down and just clipped the gas meter on the outside, some windows were broken from the falling debris,’ says Saginaw Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim Fourman.

He says the building was evacuated and the gas leak was stopped

“One of the larger stones, had bounced off, not sure if it was the one that hit the gas meter, but through the window, and basically crushed a laptop and a chair and luckily no one was sitting there at the time,” says Fourman.

“It is by the grace of God that no one was sitting there, says Monica Woods of Great Lakes Bay Health Centers, which owns the church building property.

She says it was traumatic moment for the employees and the patients

“Scary incident but we are glad everyone is safe,’ says Woods.

The dental office was closed for the day to make sure there wasn’t any structural damage to the building.

“That was very scary, and I think they were just as surprised if not more,’ says 

Shelley Edlinger had been watching the demolition of the church.

She says the church building has been a part of her whole life and believes it might be possible some divine intervention was at work that prevented a bad situation from being much worse.

“You wonder about things like that, the Lord has his way to do things,” she says.

We reached out to Dore and Associates for comment on what happened, but did not hear back.  Its not clear when the demolition will continue.

When the demolition of the church is complete, Great Lakes Health Centers plans on creating a green space on the property.

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