Contributing to the total loss was the fact public water does not run to the site, located just outside of Kingsport off Interstate 26’s Exit 6.
Greg Tennar with the Warriors Path Volunteer Fire Department said three trucks had to drive about two miles — and on two separate occasions — to reach the nearest hydrant and fill up with water.
Central Dispatch received a call on the fire about 1:30 p.m. The building was located behind Christ Fellowship Church, and the main structure and sanctuary were not damaged.
“People from the church say it started in the kitchen, possibly from the stove,” Tennar said. “They were in the kitchen about 45 minutes before the call came in. They came back out, and the fire was already in the eave of the building.”
According to the church’s youth director, Gina Hawkins, the building was about 10 years old.
Upon noticing the fire, a staff member of the church attempted to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher but was forced to retreat due to smoke and flames.
“That is the biggest blessing in all of it — that there were no people here today in the building,” Hawkins said. “We see that as God’s favor on us.”
Volunteer fire departments from Warriors Path, Bloomingdale, Fall Branch and Sullivan West responded to the scene.
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