Twin sisters perished in church fire

By Oregon Faith News Note,

Two 76-year-old twin sisters who served as pastors of the Word & Spirit Church in Northeast Portland perished during a fire that broke out in the early morning hours of Jan. 14th during the Pacific Northwest’s arctic snowstorm, according to the Oregonian/OregonLive. Neighbors and church members identified the victims as Kimberly and Stephanie Hjelt, who were living in an upstairs apartment above the gym where a generator ran during a 13-hour power outage. Temperatures had plunged to 19 degrees. Portland Fire & Rescue officials estimated the blaze broke out about 4 a.m. At least nine people died during the freezing January snow and ice storm.

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