Fire destroys St. Mark's Baptist Church in Toledo - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Fire destroys St. Mark's Baptist Church in Toledo

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A historical church is gone after a massive fire Friday afternoon.

"It hurts, it hurts so bad," Norman Houston, a member of St. Mark's Baptist Church said.

All that's left of the small church is charred wood and the front entrance.

Toledo firefighters arrived on the scene to find the white building engulfed in flames.

"They tried to make entry but the fire was so great they were pushed back,"  Battalion Chief Bob Krause, Toledo Fire Department, told 13abc.  "At that time the fire consumed the whole building."

Ladder trucks were used to attack the blaze from above, while church members lined the streets in a state of disbelief.

"Everybody that's connected to the church; we're all family," Houston said.  "They say it takes a village to raise a child and this church definitely raised me."

Aside from the fire there was another concern for the Toledo Fire Department; the plummeting temperatures.

"I'm going to cycle crews as I can," Battalion Chief Krause said. 

"Once you stop moving that's when you really start to feel it," Lt. Ron Murd said.

Lt. Murd didn't fight the fire at St. Mark's, but he knows what it's like.

He says the cold makes it hard to move around and can sometimes affect response times.

"We'll check the hydrants before we actually hook up to them in the winter and sometimes they're frozen so we'll have to go to another hydrant," Lt. Murd said.  "It will delay us getting water on the fire sometimes."

In this case there were no major issues or injuries.

But a congregation has been left without a place to worship.

"God's got something better.  I hop this brings us closer together," Houston said.

Fire investigators are working to determine what started the fire.

 

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