(hbre) A devastating fire destroyed the roof of the Pallottines' Theological School in Schoenstatt August 6/7, 2000. Despite of the hard work of firefighters from Vallendar, Koblenz and other towns, the fire was not yet contained by 2:00 AM. The roof had taken fire around 7:00 PM on Sunday night. No persons were injured, the damage done to the recently renovated part of the school – the so-called Forum Vinzenz Pallotti – is high.
Some Pallottine students and professors, sitting together in the community's TV room in the recently renovated part of the house, sensed smoke by 7:00 PM. It is not yet clear what made the loft of the house catch fire. Affected was the newer part of the building, which is used for the seminars and talks of "Forum Vinzenz Pallotti" and where students and professors have their apartments.
The fireworkers from Vallendar, soon supported by fireworkers from Koblenz and several nearby towns, rushes to the place immediately, but were hindered by the difficult approach on the steep incline leading to the building. Due to lack of pressure in the hydrants by the school, water supply had to be provided through pipes from the creek in the valley and through a pipe from a water supply 500 meters distant. Despite their hard work, the fire could not be contained for hours, and the whole newer part of the building was in flames.
The mayor of Vallendar headed to the place and expressed his relief that no persons were injured. Pallottine Fathers returning from weekend work in parishes and from retreats, were shocked by the damage, as well as many inhabitants of Vallendar. Comfort for all of them was the fact that all those who had been in the building at the time the fire broke out could leave the building safely. The participants of a retreat for seniors, as well as members of the Pallottines', were brought to other Pallottines' and Schoenstatt houses.
Also many Schoenstatt members who witnessed the fire from Mount Schoenstatt and from the valley, among them hundreds of girls who had arrived for the International Meeting, and the groups from Paraguay in the Casa Allianza, on their way to the World Youth Day, were shocked and expressed their sympathy with the Pallottines. Petitions for them were said in the Holy Mass in the Adoration Church in Schoenstatt on Monday morning.
The school is precious to the Schoenstatt Movement because of its historical meaning as birthplace of the Marian Congregation; the early Schoenstatt history is deeply connected with this house, the home of Father Kentenichs and the students for years.
Letzte Aktualisierung: 10.08.2000 0:58 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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