Fire burns through church in Mesa

MESA, AZ - Multiple fire departments responded to a second-alarm fire at a church near Country Club and University drives in Mesa Thursday morning.

According to Mesa fire Capt. Forrest Smith, the blaze at the New Life Assembly of God began around 8:50 a.m.

Firefighters from Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert and Chandler were called in to help fight the flames, Smith said. Approximately 80 firefighters were at the scene.

Smith said the extra crews were called in partly due to the heat.

"That allowed us to have shorter, quicker work cycles… to keep our crews safe, hydrated from heat stroke," Smith said.

Air15 video showed flames pouring from the roof of the building as multiple engines attacked the fire from above.

Watch RAW VIDEO from the scene

No injuries have been reported at this time, according to Mesa fire officials.

Smith said the fire was reported by a person who saw smoke coming from the vents. He said he didn't know how many people were in the church but all got out quickly and safely.

It is unclear at this time what sparked the blaze.

ABC15's Pete Suratos spoke to the church pastor and his wife who watched the church go up in flames.

"I was just praying and hoping we can get our computers and backups out so we wouldn't lose everything," said Pastor David Land.

Land has been the church's pastor or for 14 years.

"All I know is this is the time when it pays to have a relationship with Christ because he's my strength and he'll get me through it."

Land's wife Nancy was inside the church with her granddaughter just moments before the flames engulfed the church, noticing smoke coming out of the rooftop before calling 911.

"It was very scary and we started praying."

They were able to get out safely. But now both the Pastor and his wife must rely on their faith to get them through this fire - hoping the smoke will clear, and everything will be ok.

"It's very difficult to sit here and watch. This is the new part of the building that we just completed. And to watch that all go up is very sad," said Nancy.

Pastor Land said, "We're just going to have to take it a step at a time and see what happens."







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