Family worship center catches fire in Loudon

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LOUDON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Loudon County church went up in flames early Saturday.

Officials say firefighters responded to the Word of Faith Family Worship Center in the 800 block of Mulberry Street around 12:30 a.m.

Missy Rogers lives across the street from the church. She ran outside when she heard sirens.

"Next thing you know, smoke was pouring out of it. And about an hour or so later, the roof collapsed," she says.

Firefighters believe it started as a stove fire on the second floor, but the exact cause is still under investigation.

The church uses the upstairs apartment to house families in need. A single mom and five kids were staying there at the time. They made it out safely, but now Pastor J.D. Drinnon is looking for another place for them to stay.

"They were already in a tough place, having to ask for help," he says. "And now the place they depended on is gone due to the fire. And that's very heartbreaking."

The church is a total loss. They don't have insurance, but Drinnon says what hurts the most is that he can't help people in need until he gets back on his feet himself.

"We just try to reach down into the gutters and help folks who may not have a great shake in other places," he says.

He's been calling all of the members of the church, trying to figure out where, or if, they can meet for services Sunday.

"We intend to carry on, but there are challenges," he says.

Rogers says she was heartbroken to see the church up in flames, since they've done so much to help the community.

"So maybe the community can come back and help this church out. I hope so," she says.

Anyone interested in helping out the family or the church can find more information in the link to the right.

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