BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Fire crews kept a watchful eye on smoldering debris well after sunset at the scene of what was a raging fire at a Bossier City megachurch.
Crews got the call to First Bossier Church, located in the 2800 block of East Texas Street about 5:30 a.m.
According to Bossier City Fire Department Spokeswoman Traci Landry, the fire was placed under control around 7:45 a.m.
No injuries were reported but Landry said medical personnel were on scene as a precaution.
“The old sanctuary has been affected, as you can see,” Landry added.
“The new sanctuary, the firefighters did everything they could to save that and right now at this point it is safe.”
Flames were visible from Interstate 20 at the height of that early morning fire, while a total of 19 Bossier City fire units and along with 11 from Shreveport arrived on scene to to assist with efforts.
Landry added that the cause of the fire is unknown. An investigation to determine the cause will be held.
“When you see buildings ruined like that, you say okay, number one, we’re glad no loss of life,” said Senior Pastor Dr. Brad Jurkovich.
“Number two, the fire department responded accordingly and take care of business. Obviously, we can rebuild and we’ve faced challenges in the past. We’re going to face these in the future.”
After crews knocked down the huge flames, Bossier Kids Academy employee Janice Mohawk later recalled, “I just started crying because I was just thankful we wasn’t there already and the kids weren’t there because they would have been so devastated.”
The church’s child development center has 135 children enrolled. It is operated right where the fire did some of the worst damage.
Fellow employee Kaitlyn Bonnett added, “Thinking about all of the children and all of the people who work here and the church staff and the classrooms, just everybody around us. It really touched me.”
Congressman Mike Johnson issued this statement:
“We began receiving a barrage of phone calls and text messages about the sad news very early this morning in Washington. I have spoken at length about the matter with Pastor Brad Jurkovich, as well as local and state officials such as State Representative Raymond Crews and Attorney General Jeff Landry. Our church family and our entire community are stunned by the magnitude of this tragedy.
“First Bossier has such an extraordinary history in our region, and its iconic steeple has been a landmark over Bossier for generations. My wife, Kelly, and I were married in Faith Chapel 20 years ago, and it is very sad to think that landmark may now be changed forever. I do know that the First Bossier family will pull together and recover from this tragedy even stronger than before. The Bible teaches that trials produce perseverance, character and hope, and we believe that to our core. The mission of First Bossier will continue in earnest.”
This is a developing story. Stay with KSLA News 12 for updates