Century-old church destroyed by fire

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ALAMO, Tenn. — Members of Cairo Baptist Church had an emotional day Tuesday as they had to watch their place of worship go up in flames. “It’s sort of sad because the church has been around since 1910,” said Donald Ward, a deacon at the church. “I have been here all my life, and my granddaddy was going here in the earlier 1900s, so it is a sad situation.” Ward said he was the last one inside. He said after fixing a broken fan, he then did a routine check and left. What he did not know is that it would be for the last time. “I checked on it and walked through the whole church, and I locked it up and left,” Ward said. “In about an hour, they called me and said it was burning.” Alamo Fire Chief Timmy Williams said heat played a major role when trying to battle the blaze in a heat index measured at 120 degrees at the time. “The building had been added onto for several times, which forces the situation to be enclosed even more, and the heat was just unbearable,” he said. Williams said temperatures soared above 1,500 degrees in an office portion of the building where the fire started. However, firefighters were provided some relief when several Crockett County residents showed up with donations of water and ice. “This is a Baptist church, but today it didn’t matter what denomination you were. People were out here helping each other,” Williams said. Even though the church appears at this time to be a total loss, the Cairo faithful said they will be just fine. “We have done fine here and we will continue to do fine,” Ward said. “We have a place that we can meet, and we will rebuild.” Fire officials said the fire is under investigation but that nothing appears to be suspicious at this time.

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