A group of St. Matthew’s School seventh-graders gathered Monday morning outside of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church to recite the rosary. The day before a fire had engulfed the basement of the historic church in downtown Kalispell.
Religion and social studies teacher Doug Manaker instructed the students to walk around the church and school, while praying for the church and to Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters and builders. He said prayers were also in thanks that no one was injured and that the flames did not spread into the sanctuary on the main level.
According to the Rev. Rod Ermatinger, the fire is believed to have started in the kitchen area of the basement.