Monday, January 14, 2013
Firefighters narrowly escaped a roof collapse while battling flames that
ripped through the Bell Road Church of the Nazarene in Antioch Sunday.
firefighters first had to battle the flames, then, dodge hundreds of
pounds of falling bricks as the walls of the church crumbled to the
District 6 fire chief Tim Moyers says burning churches are some of the most dangerous places his men and women rush into.
"Churches are real dangerous because they're a large structure and it's open so you have a lot of roof collapse," Moyers said.
That's exactly why he followed his instincts to save his fellow firefighters.
I arrived we could see the roof buckling so I pulled them out," Moyers
said. "As soon as I pulled them out the roof collapsed."
Fire officials received the call just after 1:00 p.m. They say no one was inside and there were no injuries.
Wanda Beaird saw the flames from her home across the street.
was engulfed," Beaird said. Just a big engulfed ball of smoke. "That
was the first thing I saw. Then all of a sudden I saw all these flames
protruding out of the sides. It was very frightening."
flames spread, she found the pastor, who lives next door to the church
and consoled him as the walls literally crashed down.
"As we embraced, I could tell his heart was very heavy," Beaird said.
from the tragedy, there was hope, as two firefighters salvaged the
cross from the rubble, and carried it away from the smoke.
rally in moments like this," said Jeff Sexton, the assistant district
superintendent of the Tennessee Church of the Nazarene. "There's an
energy that comes, there's a unity that comes that sometimes doesn't
exist except in the wake of a tragedy like this."
Sexton said this wasn't the first time the congregation lost its home to a fire.
said the congregation formed in 1948 and its original building was
destroyed by a fire in the 70s and rebuilt at its current address in
Fire officials said the cause of this fire is still under investigation.