SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A house fire spread to a house of worship next door, all but destroying the First Metropolitan Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia.
Savannah Fire Rescue firefighters responding to a two-story house fire late Sunday found the flames had already spread to the First Metropolitan Baptist Church and another nearby home.
Reports say the homes and church were vacant at the time of the fire, and no injuries have been reported.
WTOC-TV reported that the church’s pastor, Alfonza Peter McClendon, was arrested last month and charged with aggravated child molestation and statutory rape.
The roof of the church burned and “collapsed into itself,” Savannah Fire and Rescue Chief Derik Minard told the station.
Photos from the fire department show large flames visible through the stained glass windows and shooting through the roof.
Fire officials said the severity of the blaze blocked firefighters from entering the home where the fire initially started.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.