KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Fire crews were on the scene of a structure fire Sunday morning. The blaze sent a massive plume of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.
Firefighters were called to the Evangelistic Center Church near Truman and Troost around 5:30 a.m. when a driver passing by noticed the smoke coming from the building.
Partial collapse at structure fire 1000 block of Truman pic.twitter.com/jnvjNfPm0X
— KCFD (@KCMOFireDept) November 13, 2016
Witnesses at the scene reported hearing an explosion which is believed to have been caused by a ruptured a gas line. The explosion blew out a wall causing a partial collapse.
Crews are working to stabilize the wall to make sure it does not collapse further.
Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi said they are mainly concerned about the back of the building where the kitchen is located.
Chuck Jones said he has been attending this church for decades.
“I’m 60 right now and I started here when I was in my mid-teens. Going to this church when I was probably 13 or 14,” Jones recalled.
When he first heard reports, Jones couldn’t believe that the church he had always known was destroyed. He had to come down to the scene to see it with his own eyes.
“I’m heartbroken because like I said I pretty much grew up in the church. It is kind of like where I learned my faith and remember a lot of friends and people that I knew from then,” Jones said.
There are no reports of injuries at this time. Firefighters have not yet determined a cause of the fire. KCPD and ATF are assisting in the investigation.
The church announced on their website that services were cancelled and they would be holding a prayer vigil at the Worship Center in Shawnee at 5 p.m.