FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Emergency crews in Fort Worth early Friday morning battled a fire at a church on the city’s east side. The incident was reported just before 5:00 a.m. in the 1600 block of Effie Street, near the intersection of Calumet Street and Amanda Avenue. Heavy flames were shooting from the building’s roof when firefighters arrived.

The blaze appears to have started in the attic of the Greater Canaan Missionary Baptist Church, and the building quickly lost its roofing.

According to battalion chief K.T. Freeman, firefighters first attempted an offensive attack. However, due to deteriorating conditions inside of the building, crews were forced to come outside and go into defensive mode in order to get the flames under control.

There have been no reports of injuries. The building is a total loss, Freeman added, with damages estimated at $415,000. The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined, but an arson investigator did arrive at the scene.

Pastor Kenneth Sayles Sr. has been with the church for 55 years. “We have no fear about it because we know God’s will is going to be done,” said Sayles. “Whatever has taken place here today, all we need is just a little time, and the Lord’s going to allow us to rebuild again.”

“I’m just thankful it happened when no one was there,” Sayles added. “We’re just grateful.”

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