Fire levels100-year old church

Multiple fire departments head to Pineview to battle the blaze

A Pineview church, estimated to be 100 to 120 years old, was left in ruins last Thursday night when the old wooden structure erupted into flames limiting firefighters to focusing on keeping the blaze from spreading to other structures.

The Pineview Volunteer Fire Department was first dispatched about 9:15 p.m. to Crossroad Church on Pineview Cemetery Road and when the first truck arrived, fireman found the structure fully involved.

Pineview Fire Chief Jay Ates said one of the first duties was to try and cool the large propane tanks next to the church.

"Those tanks have a release valve open to let off pressure," Ates said. "We were concerned that the valves on those old tanks may not work and we were trying to keep them from exploding."

Ates said the valves did work, sending flames more than 20 feet into the air, but there was no explosion.

"The safety valves worked," Ates said. "It was a miracle. There's no telling what type of damage would have happened to us and other structures if those tanks blew."

Firemen from Pineview, Friendship, Barnett Crossroads, McCall, Lambeth, Flomaton, Century and McDavid responded to the fire to help firemen keep water flowing.

Ates said there was a fire hydrant at the intersection of Foshee Road and Pineview Cemetery Road so tanker trucks went back and forth to replenish the water supply.

"There was really nothing we could do but try and keep the fire from spreading," Ates said. "When it caught fire, it went quick."

Ates said Wednesday the cause of the fire has not been determined, but it is being investigated by the fire marshal's office.