Firefighters quickly contain fire inside Fowler church

FRESNO, California (KFSN) -- The Church of God in Christ in Fowler caught on fire around 5 a.m. Monday along Mariposa Street near 10th Street.

Crews said they had the fire under control half an hour after they arrived. The fire sparked near one of the entrances, and firefighters were able to save the sanctuary part of the church, so the church will still be able to hold services.

Members of the Church of God in Christ started calling each other early in the morning after seeing media coverage of the fire. Crews were able to confine the fire to where it started and saved the church from completely going up in flames.

A pile of ash and debris now sits near the back door of the church after an electrical fire was sparked in the entryway of the church's dining hall.

"My son-in-law was up early and he called me and said he saw it on Channel 30 News that the church was on fire," church administrator Maybelle Roberts said. "So, I just grabbed my coat and came over here right away."

The damage could've been much worse, but crews worked quickly to prevent the flames from spreading to the attic or sanctuary.

"Thank God it was not as bad as I expected," Roberts said. "Because there were about six big engines all around, so it was kind of scary, very scary."

For a church that was established 80 years ago, volunteers came together Monday to help with the clean-up effort.

"I've gotten so many phone calls from friends of mine from the all the way down to Bakersfield and Fresno-area," pastor Aaron Easter exclaimed. "And those are the ones who will come to help out. So, I don't think there will be any problems with repairs or services in order to get things the way they should be."

Despite the visible impact from the fire and smoke and water damage throughout, Easter is confident church services will continue as scheduled and will not be impacted

"The doors of the church will remain open," Easter said. "The doors of the church will remain open."

There were no injuries in the fire.
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