THOMASVILLE, Ala. (WALA) -- The old New Hope No. 1 Baptist Church building in Thomasville is a complete loss after an overnight fire.
Fulton Fire Rescue and the Thomasville Fire Department responded. The cause remains under investigation.
The church is in the process of building a new sanctuary, but that new facility is not completed yet. This was the current church -- described by the mayor as historic -- that was destroyed.
Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day posted the following statement on Facebook:
Our hearts hurt this morning for the New Hope Baptist Church Membership.....The Historic Church burned during the night. Over 30 firefighters from Thomasville and Fulton Fire Departments battled valiantly through very hot and dangerous conditions. The Fire had already vented the roof when firefighters arrived which prevented them from being able to enter the building which further hampered their efforts to save any portion of the historic portion of the church. That being the case, firefighters concentrated their efforts on protecting and saving the new church that is almost complete next door. They were able to save the new structure from sustaining any major damage. Due to the extreme heat from the fire there was some minor superficial damage to the windows of the new facility that faced the old church building but for the most part the new facility is in good shape considering. We have contacted the Alabama State Fire Marshal's office and asked for an investigation in an effort to determine the cause. There is no reason to believe there was any foul play involved but, we want to ensure a complete and thorough investigation is made in the hope the cause of the fire can be determined. I want to thank all first responders who worked through the night at the fire scene. The church site is still very dangerous at this point due to unstable brick walls and burning embers. We ask everyone to refrain from going inside caution tape at the scene until further notice. If you see anyone walking around the fire scene please contact TPD. We need to keep everyone away from the scene for safety reasons until the unstable brick walls can be taken down safely.