Fire damages historic Kalispell church

Posted at 2:49 PM, May 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-13 20:16:13-04

KALISPELL – A Sunday evening fire damaged a historic Kalispell church.

Multiple agencies responded to a smoke investigation to St. Matthews Church on South Main Street in Kalispell at around 5 p.m.

Kalispell Fire Chief Dave Deadman told MTN News that when crews arrived on scene it was determined that point of origin appeared to be in the kitchen in the basement.

It took multiple agencies approximately an hour to completely put out the flames. The exact cause of the blaze is under investigation, but Deadman does not believe that any foul play was involved.

The blaze caused heavy fire damage in the basement with extensive smoke damage throughout the church.

Multiple agencies responded to a smoke investigation to St. Matthews Church on 5.12.19. (Maren Siu/MTN News photo)

No one was in the basement when the fire broke out and no injuries have been reported.

Father Rod Ermatinger, who has been with St Matthews since 2010, says he’s still processing everything that’s happened over the past 12 hours.

The next step is figuring out where to hold mass moving forward. He also told MTN News that any community members who want to help can call the church’s main office at (406) 752-6788.

The Kalispell Police Department, Evergreen Fire Department, South Kalispell Fire Department, Smith Valley Fire Department, West Valley Fire Department, Flathead County Sherriff’s Department, Flathead County Posse, Flathead Electric and Northwestern Energy all responded to the two-alarm fire.

We will update the story as more information becomes available.

Story by Maren Siu – MTN News