Grass Fire Spreads, Destroys Lancaster Church

Grass Fire Spreads, Destroys Lancaster Church

19 November 2008

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USA — What started out as a grass fire quickly engulfed a small church and may have indirectly taken the life of a grandmother.

This all took place in South Dallas County in the 1800 block of Pinto Road in rural Lancaster.

The flames could be seen from Chopper 11 exploding from the church, leaving no doubt that the fire was in control.

When firefighters arrived, they were at the mercy of Mother Nature and an unforeseen road block.

“The wind was a big factor. The only driveway going in was occupied by a large bus parked in the middle. We couldn’t get past it,” said Hutchins Fire Captain Ryan Woolever.

Once firefighters got past the bus, it was too late. The Abundant Life Ministries Church near Lancaster was destroyed.

Pastor Annette Summers says she was preparing the back of the building to shelter battered woman.

“We have to keep working. We can’t let this stop us. We have to continue the vision,” she said.

Fire investigators say a welder was using a blow torch to cut through metal scraps that accumulated in a field behind the church. The metal was being cleared from the property when a spark ignited the grass.

After seeing the massive fire approach her house, an elderly neighbor collapsed and later died from a heart attack. She happened to be the aunt of one of the firefighters battling the blaze.

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