The damage caused to St Marys Catholic Church.
The damage caused to St Marys Catholic Church. Molly Glassey

REVEALED: Full extent of damage to St Marys

THE carpet is still damp, the front door has looked better and the inside of St Mary's Catholic Church still smells like smoke.

But the damage to Warwick's iconic church after a blaze ripped through its ceiling could have been a lot worse according to Warwick Fire and Emergency Services Officer-in-charge Brett Farrell.

"When you look at the whole lot of that building, the extent of damage was pretty good," Mr Farrell said.

"It's always hard with old buildings like the church, because you're dealing with an elevated area.

"It's very difficult to get into those spaces because of the height of the building internally and externally, and the really high pitched roof."

 

Fire crews were called to the blaze just before 4pm Monday, and Mr Farrell said the fast response saved the church.

"Wooden ceilings are always a worry," he said.

"But we had a lot of key things that worked in our favour.

"The 000 call was made very quickly and we were then thankfully able to make a quick entry.

"The guys did an outstanding job."

Two firefighters had to break down the church's front door, before another two in breathing apparatuses extinguished the flames from the inside St Mary's.

Another firefighter battled the blaze from the northern side of the church.

"As soon as we approached the building we saw a large amount of smoke coming from the roof, and once we saw that we had to basically get as many appliances as we could to the incident," Mr Farrell said.

"We had the assistance of Toowoomba crews."

A lightning strike is still being blamed for the starting the fire, with a Zarraffas customer seeing a lightning strike followed by an "awful, awful noise".

Concetto Lo Giudice was waiting at a red light when he saw a lightning bolt strike in the direction of the church.

"When we came back 15 minutes later... we saw the flashing light of the Fire Services and coming closer there noticed there was smoke coming from the roof."

Mr Farrell said investigations would continue into the blaze.



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