Last weekend on-call firefighters from Fleet were invited back to All Saints Church for the Service of Celebration and Reconsecration following the fire that devastated the building eight years ago.
Large sections of the church, which was built in 1861, were destroyed in the arson attack, with the culprit sentenced a few months after the blaze. The hard work of the firefighters saw the main structure and brickwork of the Grade II-listed building saved, however the roof and the interior were destroyed in the blaze.
One of the first firefighters on the scene was Crew Manager Jack Jacobs:
“It was wonderful to be invited back and see how the church has been rebuilt and transformed over the past eight years.
“In response to the devastating incident, the congregation came together, restoring their beloved church, which continues to play a big role within the local community.”
On the evening of Monday 22nd June 2015 around 35 firefighters were called to the scene on Church Road in Fleet.
The crew from Fleet Fire Station were first on the scene and quickly requested further resources, as flames were visible through the roof.
Crew Manager Jack Jacobs said:
“When we first arrived we could see that the whole roof was involved in flames, so immediately requested more crews to help us to bring it under control.
“It was awful to see such a historic building, which is at the heart of the town, involved in a huge fire.”
Crews from Rushmoor and Hartley Wintney were soon on the scene, working into the night alongside support vehicles from Portchester and Royal Berkshire FRS, before relief crews from Odiham, Bordon, Basingstoke and Alton took over and continued damping down remaining hotspots.
The stop message came in the next day following several reinspections.