Navarre Chapel Damaged in Early Morning Fire

Posted on August 31, 2021 by Staff reports

Holley-Navarre Fire District around 6:30 a.m. this morning was alerted to a commercial structure fire in the 7600 block of East Bay Boulevard at the Gulf Pointe Latin School complex. 

According to HNFD Chief Ron Norton, he responded with Engines 41 and 45. Additionally, Navarre Beach Fire Rescue Ladder 49, Midway Fire Engine 37 and Florosa Fire Truck 5 responded.

The caller to 911 reported a recent lightning strike in the area and could see smoke coming from one of the buildings located in the complex.

“Severe weather was in the area with high winds and heavy rain as several squall lines from the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed through,” Norton said. 

Battalion 40 arrived and confirmed smoke coming from the steeple of the chapel before Engine 45 arrived and began an “aggressive attack,” utilizing ground ladders to reach the steeple.

Norton reports the fire was quickly contained to the steeple portion of the church. Subsequently, the fire was called under control within 15 minutes and fully extinguished at 7:11 a.m.

Per HNFD, the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

Norton said the installed fire suppression system held the fire in check. “Without the sprinkler system the fire damage would have been much worse.”