A fire that caused minor damage to a New Windsor church late Sunday has been ruled accidental, authorities said yesterday.
The blaze broke out about 9: 45 p.m. when an electrical cord at the base of a stairwell leading to the mezzanine overheated and ignited combustible materials being stored on the cord, state fire marshals said.
The Rev. Clyde Reed, pastor of New Windsor Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church at High and Church streets, said his wife, Ann, saw a flickering light behind the stained-glass windows of the church, which is next door to their home.
"When we realized what was happening, we ran over with fire extinguishers to fight it," he said.
The Reeds helped prevent the fire from spreading until firefighters from New Windsor, Union Bridge and Westminster brought it under control without injuries or serious damage to the brick church.
The reverend said a senior citizens meeting scheduled for yesterday was canceled because electrical power, which had been turned off, had not been restored.
Damage, which fire marshals estimated at $5,000, should not take long to repair, Reed said.
"We were very fortunate," he said. "There's an odor of smoke that we'll have to deal with, but the fire shouldn't interfere with any other meetings or services."
Pub Date: 4/29/97