Decatur Co. church goes up in flames; firefighters battle blaze for hours

DECATUR COUNTY, Tenn. — The air hangs thick with smoke in Parsons as members of Bear Creek Baptist Church sift through the rubble that was once their home.

“It was just heartbreaking,” said Rickey Alexander, who lives down the street. “The church has been here for 175 years, one of the oldest in our community.”

Parsons Fire Chief Dale King says Sunday night service let out minutes before they got the call.

When they arrived around 7:30 p.m., the church was already billowing in flames.

“It had fire and smoke coming out of the eve,” Chief King said.

Hours after firefighters got the call, parts of the church were  still burning.

Because of its size, Chief King says they needed to call in for help.

“The building is so wide across and the floor has been burnt out, so there’s no way we can get to the center right now,” he said. “We’re bringing large equipment in today to take parts of the wall out.”

Even with help from multiple agencies, King says every room in the church is a total loss.

“Forty firemen from the city and county and also Henderson County and Lexington showed up to help us fight this blaze,” King said.

It was an outpouring of support from not only first responders and volunteers but also from community members and neighboring churches doing all they can to help.

“It’s part of being in a small town,” Alexander said. “Time after time we see things like this. It’s really remarkable.”

The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called in to investigate the cause of the fire.

Categories: Local News, News