Fire Chief: Low water pressure not a factor in Youngstown church - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Fire Chief: Low water pressure not a factor in Youngstown church fire

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Youngstown Fire Chief John O'Neill tells 21 News that low water pressure at the hydrants was not a factor in a blaze that destroyed a church on Monday.

Fire crews were called to the area of Forest and Shehy Streets and found an unoccupied home engulfed in flames.

The fire was so intense that it had already spread to the roof line of the Grace Evangelistic Church next door, gutting the house of worship.

Firefighters tried to attack the fire at the church using ladders and hoses on the inside, but within minutes they had to pull out, because the roof began to collapse.

Fire Chief O'Neill says that water pressure is usually low in that part of the city, but says the pressure was not a contributing factor to the extent of the blaze.

Building inspectors have determined that some walls of the church will be torn down because they could become unstable and dangerous.  According to records from the Mahoning County Auditor, the church was built in 1910.

Church officials plan to set up a tent across the street from the ruins of the church where members will hold services beginning with Bible classes on Wednesday.

Bishop C.M. Jenkins says, "I keep looking in another direction so that I won't have to see, because once I see it, I'm going to have to understand it, and I'm going to have to deal with it, and at this moment, I'm numb."

All of the church records were destroyed in the fire, and the Bishop says at this point it's too soon to say if they will rebuild on this lot, but those who work and worship here say their faith isn't shaken.

Elder Christopher Roberts is an Associate Pastor, "It's a devastating loss for the church, but we're looking to rise up from the ashes as spoken in the Bible so God is good, and he's got better things ahead for us."

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