Flames Destroy Abandoned Church Building
Officials estimate about $100,000 worth of damage was caused when a fire destroyed an abandoned church building in Springdale Sunday night.
The cause is under investigation.
“Whether it was an intentional fire or accidental fire we don’t have any idea yet, but obviously when a vacant building burns like that you always have your suspicions, “ said Springdale Fire Chief Mike Irwin.
The fire was reported at approximately 10 p.m. on 219 S. Thompson St. First responders requested more trucks, and firefighters from Fayetteville were brought in for support.
Firefighters went into the building, but had to pull back when the roof collapsed, according to Fire Chief Mike Irwin.
“Shortly after we made entry we had a partial collapse of the roof so we had evacuated everybody, got all the personnel out and went into a defensive attack.”
“When our first units arrived they started to make an interior attack, they got about 30 feet inside the building, heavy smoke conditions, about that time the fire came through the roof and we backed the units out,” added Springdale Fire Marshal, Ed Stith.
Thick smoke billowing from the structure caused portions of South Thompson to be closed for traffic. Springdale fire officials said it was too early to determine the cause of the fire but said the building was believed to be vacant.
Fire Marshall says the abandoned building used to be many things including, Ozark Guidance, a babysitting center and a Church of Christ.
“People were married in this building, usually what we hear is that I was married in there or I went to a wedding there,” said Stith.
Stith says the building was purchased in October by Hector Antonio Mancia $100,000.
“The gentleman was going to open a clothing store which was his ambition of the building he was still currently working through the renovation of the building. He hadn’t started any real work yet.”
Officials also said no firefighters were injured battling the fire.