Authorities are investigating the cause of the late Sunday night fire that destroyed Faith Church, located at the intersection of Robinson and Old Chillicothe roads in Washington Court House.
At around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, firefighters from the Washington C.H. Fire Department responded to the church, 1011 Old Chillicothe Road, which was fully involved at the time. It took a little over an hour for them to get the blaze under control. No one was inside the church at the time of the fire and no one was reported injured, according to authorities.
Authorities were notified of the fire thanks to a passerby who reportedly spotted smoke and called 911.
Investigators from the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office were contacted Sunday night and investigated the cause of the fire on Monday. No official ruling on the cause has been released yet, but authorities believe that the fire started in an attic space near the sanctuary.
From there, the fire quickly spread throughout the structure. Part of the roof collapsed into the building due to the intense fire.
“Obviously this is a major loss to the members of this church and the community,” said Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, who was also on the scene. “Fire investigators will be trying to determine the cause of the fire, so we’ll wait and see what happens.”
Several members of the church gathered nearby the scene and comforted one another. Around 60 to 90 people usually attend the Pentecostal church every Sunday.
“It’s just unbelievable…..it’s heartbreaking,” said Matt Anders, who has served at Faith Church as the associate pastor for two years. “We just had a new roof put on the church two years ago. All we can do right now is get together, pray about it and see what the Lord has in store for us. Like I said, it’s heartbreaking.”
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica