ADELL - A multiple-alarm fire Thursday morning destroyed a church building used by Adell Community Fellowship in northwest Parker County.
Firefighters from across the county and beyond responded to the blaze that was called in around 8 a.m. and became a six-alarm fire with 18 agencies responding by late morning, according to Parker County Public Information Officer Joel Kertok.
A passerby saw smoke coming from the sanctuary building and called 911 before turning off the propane to the building, Senior Pastor Mike Wiley said.
The building, located at the intersection of Adell Circle, Adell Road and Farm-to-Market Road 1885, appeared to have been burning for some time before the fire was discovered because the areas around the doors were already blackened, according to Wiley.
He arrived at the church at 8:30 a.m. and found smoke coming from the building, particularly in the back, Wiley said.
The two-story metal structure housed Sunday morning services for about 80 to 90 members of the congregation, as well as Wednesday night youth services, Wiley said.
The primary need for assistance was manpower, as it was the middle of a weekday, a time when many volunteer firefighters are traditionally at work, according to Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott. Firefighters from as far away as Wise County were requested.
“Church fires are inherently dangerous,” Scott said, citing the high ceilings and difficulty gaining access to the fire.
To get water to the scene, tanker trucks from various Parker County fire departments and Precinct 2 shuttled water to the site and firefighters pumped from collapsible temporary water tanks.
Because of the size of the structure and because it was a church, Scott said he requested the Tarrant County Arson Task Force to assist in the investigation, adding that he knew of nothing to indicate it was arson.
A ladder engine from Lockheed Martin Fire Department, Parker County CERT, the Red Cross, LifeCare, DPS and other agencies provided assistance at the scene, as well.
The building that burned was the church’s primary facility and was erected about seven or eight years ago, Wiley said.
The church originally met in the building currently housing the children’s ministry and the younger students on Wednesday evenings, according to Wiley. That’s where the congregation planned to hold their service Sunday.
They owed nothing on the building and had been adding a room at a time to the building as they could afford, according to Wiley. The building was nearly completed with only a couple of rooms left to finish, he said.
However, the building was insured, Wiley said.
“Honestly, right now, we’re in the shock and awe stage,” Wiley said.
Wiley said he was amazed by how many churches had called him by mid-morning Thursday offering their sanctuaries and support.
Wiley said the church just needs prayers as they deal with the situation.
“We’re certainly not going to let this fire take our spirit and our heart,” Wiley said, adding that they will be returning to their roots in the old building.
“Out of the ashes, good will come,” Wiley said.