A fire that broke out at a New York church building could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for God’s protection and the “alarming bark” from a local dog.
Longtime parishioner, Kim Lewis, lives across the street from her church, Yorktown Assembly of God in Yorktown Heights. In the early morning hours of May 30, Lewis was awakened by the frantic barking of her dog, Bear.
When Lewis looked out the window, she saw that the church building was on fire and immediately called for help, WABC News reports.
“It was a very alarming bark. It almost sounded like a siren,” Lewis recalled. “And I opened the blinds and I saw the church on fire.”
Fire investigators told Lewis the flames would have engulfed the entire building if they arrived just a few minutes later.
In a Facebook post, church members said they were grateful for God, first responders, and for Bear.
“We want to thank God first and foremost followed by, the countless first responders that came to help, and finally, Bear, the BEST dog in the world for keeping us from experiencing a devastating loss here at the church,” the post read.
“We know God was there tonight protecting our building. The fire started on the exterior of the building and was just starting to spread through the attic above the sanctuary before the firefighters were able to put out the flames. We know that it was not luck, it was God’s protection over His church and people.”
The church building sustained significant damage but members of the congregation remain in good spirits, despite the challenges ahead as they begin the work to restore the 50-year-old building.
“If you think about it, God spelled backwards is dog,” Lewis said.
A GoFundMe page was started to assist with the building’s repair costs. So far, the effort has raised $5,732 of its $50,000 goal.