Update | Church is total loss after overnight fire; investigators say no foul play

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

9:41 p.m.

DEARING, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, says they suspect no foul play in the overnight fire that gutted the House of Prayer in Dearing, Ga.

State Fire Marshalls believe the fire started in the attic of the church, but the cause is undertermined.

The state says partly because the fire burned almost everything inside.

Massive flames billowing out of the Dearing House of Prayer managed to destroy a 90 year legacy and turn it into soot.

"There used to be some beautiful flowers and stuff in the main sanctuary here," said Elder David McCord.

House of Prayer Elder McCord was with his congregation in the sanctuary hours before flames gutted the church.

"We thank God that we weren't here when it all happened," said McCord.

Georgia State Fire Marshalls estimate $750,000 in damage to the church.

Every room is a loss.

The only thing left is a trombone from one of the younger church band players.

Members say it's a sign.

"It's a little mangled. It's not fit for use or to be blown anymore, but it's a symbol though of where we were and where we are going to be in the future," said McCord.

" Life is full a stumbling blocks and full of obstacles. It will test your faith. It comes with this walk of life. When you are working for the Lord," said McCord.

Mccord says they are planning to have service Wednesday night at the House of Prayer in Harlem.

3:07 p.m.

MCDUFFIE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Investigators have ruled an early morning fire at the United House of Prayer for All People in Dearing to be undetermined.

According to the Office of the Georgia Commissioner of Insurance, the fire destroyed the church at Ellington Airline Road causing damage of about $750,000.

While fire investigators cannot determine the exact cause of the fire, they found no evidence of foul play.

According to McDuffie County dispatch, the call for the fire on Ellington Airline Road in came in at 3:07 a.m. Wednesday.



4:48 p.m.

MCDUFFIE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- McDuffie County firefighters are investigating a fire that destroyed the United House of Prayer in Dearing.

According to McDuffie County dispatch, the call for the fire on Ellington Airline Road in came in at 3:07 a.m. Wednesday.

The Georgia Fire Marshal's Office says the McDuffie County Fire Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the fire marshal will be in charge of the investigation.

A cause has not been determined yet.

Check back for updates.