The Virginia Volunteer Fire Department fought a fire at a former church yesterday.
According to Virginia Fire Chief Donny Reynolds, the emergency call was received by the department at around 9:30 am Tuesday morning.
The department responded to reports of a house on fire, but when firefighters arrived at the location of the fire in the 300 block of East Beardstown Street in Virginia, they determined it was a house that had been converted into a residence after formerly being a church.
Chief Reynolds says that when volunteers with his department arrived at the scene of the fire, the building was partially engulfed in flames. However, when the roof caved in and the building became fully engulfed, there was no way to fight the fire from the inside.
Reynolds says the Ashland Fire Department assisted in battling the blaze until about 1 pm, and Virginia Firefighters were on scene until about 4 pm.
Finally, a track hoe was used for pushing the remnants of the building into the foundation of the structure in an attempt to suppress the fire. According to Chief Reynolds, a representative of the city of Virginia water department reported to him that at one point as many as 600 gallons of water, at least partially to combat the blaze, were being used by the city per minute.
After arriving on scene, it took emergency personnel approximately 45 minutes to declare that neither the owner of the residence nor anyone else was inside the building.
The now-inhabitable building used to be an Assemblies of God Church. According to the website of the current congregation in Virginia, the church was known as Abundant Life Assemblies of God Church.
At this time, the fire is not being investigated for potential criminal arson.