ODESSA — Not much remains of the Woods Chapel United Methodist Church, 813 N.W. Highway 131, Odessa, after a fire brought it to the ground in the early hours of Thursday, Oct. 10.
The Johnson County Fire Protection District No. 2 was toned to the fire about 1:38 a.m.
Chief David Miller said a neighbor to the south of the church reported the fire was fully involved.
“When we got there, there was basically just one wall still standing, the outside two walls and the back wall had fell in,” he said.
Once on scene, Miller said crews surrounded the fire and worked to cool down a nearby shed and propane tank.
He said once it was cool, the propane was shut off and electricity was turned off to the building as well.
Miller said due to the situation, crews cooled the edges of the building while letting what was in the basement burn.
“It was really burning before anyone noticed it,” he said.
Odessa Fire and Rescue and Johnson County Fire Protection District No. 1 assisted in the response.
Miller said crews got the fire under control about 3:30 a.m. and left about 6 a.m.
He said storms moved into the area about 5 a.m.
“We cleaned up in a big downpour,” Miller said.
The State Fire Marshall’s Office was called to investigate.
Miller said since it was a church fire, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was contacted and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation.
Smoke continued to rise from the ashes and carry in the wind about 7:30 a.m. as a steady rain fell.