A fire at the Miracle Tabernacle church in Washington Park caused heavy damage to the building’s interior early Friday morning, though no one was injured.
The fire, which started beneath a stage at the back of the church, may have been electrical, according to Washington Park Fire Chief Charles Schreiber. No one was in the church, which is located at at 2117 N. 55th St., when crews arrived on the scene in the predawn hours. A state fire marshal will investigate for any signs of arson, according to protocol, the chief said.
Pastor Darwyn Buchanan was at a loss for words after he arrived at the church shortly after the sun rose.
“This (church) is everything to me,” Buchanan said.
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The church sustained heavy interior damage, though the roof and structure remained in tact. Buchanan’s wife, Angela, said Miracle Tabernacle is a “family church” with a congregation of about 30. Members will attend service Sunday at another nearby church, the Mount Calvary Church of God in Christ, Angela Buchanan said.
Darwyn Buchanan said he has “no idea” what he will do next. His wife said they were planning on expanding the building.
The crew battling the blaze remained at the scene as the sun rose, trying to extinguish the last remnants of the fire in the back of the church. The flames were extinguished by 7:30 a.m.
They could be seen tearing away siding on part of the building to get to the flames.
State Park, Camp Jackson and Fairmont City fire departments responded to help Washington Park firefighters extinguish the blaze.