Fire Destroys Former Church; Congregation Saddened

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Debris and charred ashes are about all that's left of a Roland Business Friday. That's after a fire ripped through the building early this morning.

Dispatchers with Roland police said they received a call about a fire at Full Circle Screen Printing located at 812 South Roland Road at approximately 12:42 a.m.

The Roland business was fully engulfed as firefighters arrived on scene. The fire appeared to have started at the middle of the building, but Edwards says the exact cause is still under investigation.

The building appears to be a total loss.

Firefighters remained at the scene for hours working to ensure the fire did not spread to nearby buildings on Roland Road.  Crews battled flames until just before 4 a.m. Friday.

An employee at a neighboring business told 5NEWS he was surprised by the damage Friday.

"I didn't think it was going to be that bad," Ali Phothisen, who works next door, said. "That's pretty bad. The roof caved in and all."

The destroyed building was formerly home to the Church, which has since relocated.

Several members of the church were out reminiscing about their old building Friday morning.

"I'm really sad that this has happened because our church began here," said Zinda Rutherford, a member of the church. "Five years ago this was home to us."

"There's just a lot of memories here," said Pastor Jason Krohn before he trailed off, thinking about what to say next. "People's lives were changed here."

"Most people will just drive by and not think too much of this building," Rutherford said. "But you know, we'll drive by and we'll really remember the lives that were changed within this building."

Fire Chief James Edwards told 5NEWS that while putting out the fire Roland Assistant Fire Chief Phillip Niemann was hurt. That's after a concrete wall fell on top of him, causing severe bruising to his foot.

Niemann was taken by EMS to a local hospital, where Edwards says he was treated for a broken foot and released.

Niemann is now at home recovering.