Appleby congregation counting their blessings after fire Saturda - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Appleby congregation counting their blessings after fire Saturday afternoon

APPLEBY, TX (KTRE) -

 Members of the Bethel Baptist Church in Appleby, attended Sunday morning service thankful that their sanctuary is still intact.

"I'm just glad that it didn't catch nothing like this on fire, it was bad enough it caught all that stuff on fire," said Ashton Center, Member, Bethel Baptist Church.

 Saturday afternoon fire crews from Appleby, Central Heights and Garrison responded to what began as a small brush fire.

"The fire, the wind blew it onto the roof of another building and so it did a little damage," said Steve Ewton, Pastor, Bethel Baptist Church.

 When crews arrived on scene about a quarter acre of grass was on fire destroying a building and a popular activity area.

"It was a cinder block building so it was mostly just the roof we didn't have anything real valuable inside," said Ewton.

The fire damaged the roof of the church pavilion where 11- year- old Ashton Center says he and his friends spend a lot of their time.

"Occasionally we play basketball, have games and stuff," said Center.

Pastor Ewton says all the credit goes  to the fire officials who put out the fire in about an hour, preventing any further damage to the church.

"I was really amazed at the response time of the volunteer fireman I counted four or five fire trucks that were here," said Ewton.

 While the cost of damage is estimated around $20,000, this congregation is just grateful they have place to count their blessings.

"It could have been much worse if the fire jumped over to another building then definitely that would have been more detrimental but we're thankful it was contained," said Ewton.

None of the main church buildings were harmed during the fire.

 According to Chief Dave Crawford with the Appleby Volunteer Fire Department no investigations are going at this time.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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