Church destroyed by fire overnight in Ridgeland, South Carolina - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Investigation underway into cause of Lowcountry church fire


Fire crews responded to a church fire overnight in Ridgeland. 

Ridgeland Fire Chief John Migledorff said they got a call around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday to a structure fire. When they got there, they found the Gospel Lighthouse Church at 131 Carters Mill Rd. engulfed in flames. 

Crews from Jasper County Fire and Ridgeland Fire all responded to the fire. Officials say at least 80 percent of the church is damaged, and possibly a total loss. 

The pastor of Gospel Lighthouse Church, Jackie Chavers, as well as several members of the congregation, were at the church to show their support. 

The fire is out. However, police, fire and emergency crews are still at the scene monitoring hot spots and looking into the cause. 

Both of the structures on the church grounds were affected by the fire including a new sanctuary that is not even a year old.

Ironically, there was another fire going on at the same time in Ridgeland, this one on Jacob Smart Boulevard. Migledorff said that they do not have enough information on the fires at this time to prove if they were linked or suspicious in any way.

"We did have a fire in town that we left to come here, we left another crew at that fire. Anytime you have two fires at the same time that close, you think there might be something suspicious, but at this time, that is still not known," he explained.

Fire investigators are looking into the cause of both fires.

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