Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Provo Tabernacle Burns

<i>Dan Bammes KUER</i>
Fire all but destroyed the 19th Century LDS tabernacle in Provo, Utah

By Dan Bammes

Provo, UT – For more than a hundred years, the LDS tabernacle in Provo was a place for thundering sermons and beautiful music. It was all but destroyed by a fire this morning. Provo firefighters were called out just after 2:30 a.m. and quickly determined they couldn't fight the flames from inside the building. Instead, they poured water on it from the outside. The roof collapsed shortly before 5:00 a.m., and smoke was still visible around noon, when Diane Kiateder stood on the sidewalk looking at a building that's been a landmark in the city where she grew up.

"Great conferences, concerts, graduations," she said. "Oh, there's a lot of memories in this building for many, many people."

There's no information yet on the cause of the fire. It'll likely be tomorrow before Provo City building inspectors can get inside to determine whether any part of the building can be saved.

Provo Deputy Fire Chief Gary Jolley says the situation may not be hopeless. "The walls, you see, are pretty thick. To us, right now, where we've been doing our evaluation, they seem pretty intact."

A holiday performance of Lex DeAzevedo's Gloria was scheduled for the tabernacle this evening. BYU Broadcasting had recorded a rehearsal last night, and had left cameras, lights and audio equipment in the building. That was destroyed in the fire along with the musical instruments left on the stage. Tonight's performance of Gloria has been moved to the Alpine Tabernacle in American Fork.

Millenium Choral Society Gloria web page

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.