'An alarming bark': Dog alerts owner to fire at Somers church

A short in the lights that illuminated a huge cross sparked a fire at Yorktown Assembly of God Church in Somers in the middle of the night.

News 12 Staff

Jun 1, 2021, 9:18 PM

Updated 1,051 days ago

Share:

A fire at a church in northern Westchester County could have been a whole lot worse - and now the congregation is thanking both firefighters and a local dog for saving their building.
A short in the lights that illuminated a huge cross sparked a fire at Yorktown Assembly of God Church in Somers in the middle of the night.
A German shepherd named Bear who lives across the street smelled the smoke and alerted his owner, Kim Lewis.
"I was awakened by Bear, he had an alarming bark, it was very unusual," says Lewis. "I opened the blinds and I saw the church on fire."
Lewis called 911, ran across the street and woke up Lisa Wain, who lives next door to the church and works there as an administrator.
Crews from seven firehouses rushed to the scene to put out the flames.
Lewis says fire officials told her that if the fire had raged for 10 more minutes, it would have spread through the attic and the whole building would have been lost.
Most of the damage is on the outside of the building, but one would never know by looking at it. There's smoke and water damage inside the sanctuary that the church says will now force them to take their services outdoors.
Lewis says things have been tough financially for the church this past year because of COVID-19. Not as many members show up to services in person.
In addition to that, the church also runs a pre-school that has now had shut down because there's no power in the building.
Despite all these setbacks, the congregation remains thankful to their hero firefighters and to Bear, whose bark saved their church.
Church officials say it will cost a little more than $50,000 for repairs to the building. A GoFundMe site has been created to help financially.


More from News 12
0:32
Out-of-court settlement reached in New Rochelle excessive force lawsuit

Out-of-court settlement reached in New Rochelle excessive force lawsuit

1:49
Light rain showers linger into tomorrow, sun to return this weekend

Light rain showers linger into tomorrow, sun to return this weekend

2:04
Religious leaders work to salvage sacred Torah scrolls after fire

Religious leaders work to salvage sacred Torah scrolls after fire

3:05
Rising concerns over marijuana addiction ahead of 4/20

Rising concerns over marijuana addiction ahead of 4/20

1:19
Headlines: Gold Star families defrauded, teen enters school illegally, deadly Palisades Parkway crash

Headlines: Gold Star families defrauded, teen enters school illegally, deadly Palisades Parkway crash

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

0:51
Former NYPD officer pleads guilty to narcotics charges in Yonkers

Former NYPD officer pleads guilty to narcotics charges in Yonkers

0:21
Rye officials undertake effort to recover and identify unmarked graves in historic African American cemetery

Rye officials undertake effort to recover and identify unmarked graves in historic African American cemetery

2:08
Thunderbolt 12: Bronx River Parkway undergoes construction; prepare for traffic delays

Thunderbolt 12: Bronx River Parkway undergoes construction; prepare for traffic delays

0:23
Ford recalls over 456,000 Bronco Sport and Maverick cars due to loss of drive power risk

Ford recalls over 456,000 Bronco Sport and Maverick cars due to loss of drive power risk

1:44
Discover a Gothic Revival masterpiece of art and architecture at Lyndhurst Mansion

Discover a Gothic Revival masterpiece of art and architecture at Lyndhurst Mansion

0:19
Suspect in Rockland County stabbing to appear in Ramapo Town Court today

Suspect in Rockland County stabbing to appear in Ramapo Town Court today

0:22
Middletown man arrested for double murder

Middletown man arrested for double murder

0:23
Spring Arrival: Hummingbirds heading to New York

Spring Arrival: Hummingbirds heading to New York

0:17
Westchester high school students honored for creativity

Westchester high school students honored for creativity

1:45
White Plains carefully welcomes New York's legal cannabis industry

White Plains carefully welcomes New York's legal cannabis industry

0:51
Save money while helping the planet with these 12 energy-efficient tips

Save money while helping the planet with these 12 energy-efficient tips

0:23
Gov. Hochul: State Legislature experienced a cyberattack

Gov. Hochul: State Legislature experienced a cyberattack

0:28
Village of Port Chester road resurfacing work to begin Thursday, continue through next week

Village of Port Chester road resurfacing work to begin Thursday, continue through next week

0:40
Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES host regional union career and technical education info event

Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES host regional union career and technical education info event