DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A Daytona Beach church that was scheduled to be demolished in the coming days went up in flames early Thursday morning.
The fire, reported just after midnight, destroyed the Calvary Baptist Church at the corner of Peninsula Drive and Earl Street, west of State Road A1A on the beachside in Daytona Beach.
Daytona Beach fire officials said no one was injured in the blaze.
The cause of the fire is not known, but due to its “suspicious nature,” the state fire marshal will conduct an investigation.
According to authorities, firefighters made entry into the church but were met with dangerous conditions.
“They had to go ahead and exit the building and create an attack mode from the exterior, a defensive mode to battle the flames from the outside,” said Sasha Staton, public information officer for the Daytona Beach Fire Department.
Two aerial apparatuses were used to fight the flames.
DBFD on scene of large working structure fire of a church located at 301 Earl St in DB pic.twitter.com/2hrRNQiw35— DaytonaBeachFireDept (@DaytonaBeachFD) June 17, 2021
The fire was brought under control about three hours later, and Staton said the fire was contained to the church.
According to a contractor, the church was scheduled to be demolished in about two weeks and power to the building had already been disconnected. Crews worked on hotspots later in the morning. Fire officials said the roof completely collapsed and the church’s wall that faces Peninsula Drive was leaning outward. Equipment was brought in to make the building “structurally safe” until it is demolished.
“With possible roof collapse and wall collapse, it is just extremely dangerous conditions for firefighters to work from the interior,” Staton said.
Roads continue to be closed in the area as of 9:25 a.m. and officials are urging people to avoid the area.
Multiple engines from the Daytona Beach Fire Department, Holly Hill Fire Department and Ormond Beach Fire Department battled the blaze.