Fire crews investigating cause of church fire

Texarkana News

ATLANTA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Fire crews are working to determine the cause of a fire in downtown Atlanta, Texas.

The fire began at 4:30 Wednesday morning in the 200 block of E. Hiram Street.

Officials say it used to be a carpet store but it was most recently a church called True Believers Family Life.

A patrol officer saw the smoke and contacted emergency responders. When crews arrived, heavy smoke could be seen coming from the building with flames reaching about 40 feet into the air. 

Picture courtesy: Jack Stanfield

Fire officials said they did have an issue with water supply because International Paper was conducting maintenance on their pumps, but it did not hinder their ability to fight the fire. “We were on elevated storage all day yesterday, so we were in the process throughout the night of filling those storage tanks. We were still able to do containment and work the fire but .. we did have some issues with water, but that’s understandable,” said Atlanta Public Safety Director Robin Betts.

Emergency responders said the fire was contained in about an hour and a half. “Fire crews got here, made an interior attack, really tried to get aggressive with it, but the fire had grown so big they couldn’t do it. So, we backed out and went into defensive mode where we just protected other structures while trying to do fire suppression on this,” said Betts.

Betts said one firefighter was hospitalized for a knee injury at the scene.

Cass County Emergency Services District 2 and Bloomburg Fire Department assisted. An investigation into the cause is underway.

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