A Houston church went up in flames overnight Thursday, leaving a congregation without a home.
The fire broke out around 11 p.m. Thursday, and by Friday morning, the community of the Servant Savior Presbyterian Church was left in ruins.
The church is located on Hughes Road near Beltway 8 and I-45 South in southeast Houston.
Firefighters were called to the scene to find about 75 percent of the building was already engulfed in flames. A second alarm was pulled and more fire crews arrived at the scene.
Despite the fire department's best efforts, the church was quickly determined to be a total loss. On Friday morning, cleanup crews already tore down what the fire left standing.
The church's pastor watched as the structure was destroyed. In an interview with FOX 26 News, he said it was a sad loss for the congregation, but identified it as the loss of a building and not the spirit of the church.
"I feel certain that this church will continue to thrive," said Rev. Dr. Alan Brehm. "I've said many times, I've been working with churches for 30 years, and this is by far the best church organization I've ever been a part of. It's a very healthy group of people. Very upbeat. I have no doubt we'll make a new start."
One of the church's elders was choked up when he spoke with FOX 26 News. He said it was even more difficult watching the cleanup process than the fire itself.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but arson investigators say it's suspicious the blaze started so late at night in the unoccupied building. They also say it was surprising how much of it went up in flames so quickly.
No injuries were reported.
On the web: http://www.servant-savior.org/