Historic Church Destroyed in Early-Morning Blaze - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/13/05

Historic Church Destroyed in Early-Morning Blaze

Firefighters battle the blaze this morning. Firefighters battle the blaze this morning.
The cinderblock walls are all that remain standing this afternoon. The cinderblock walls are all that remain standing this afternoon.

A historic Savannah church went up in flames overnight, leaving a lot of unanswered questions. Shortly before 2am this morning, a Savannah-Chatham police officer spotted flames coming from the Saint Luke AME Church on Joe Street off Waters Avenue. Savannah firefighters arrived to find the building engulfed in flames, and minutes after they arrived, the roof caved in.

Firefighters surrounded the building and fought the huge blaze from all sides. They even had to use a ladder truck to spray water from above.

They also had to keep putting water on a nearby house so the fire wouldn't spread.

One of the ministers, Joe Lewis Washington, was called to the scene this morning. He tells us the church was in the middle of an expansion.

"We was in the process of trying to build a new sanctuary connected to this one but, I'm just at lost for words right now," he said.

Washington says the church was over a hundred years old and services were held there last night.

Savannah fire investigators will be on the scene today to try to determine the cause of the fire.

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