Fire burns Mercy Tabernacle complex in Benton

BENTON, Tennessee (WDEF) – Arson investigators have been called after an early morning fire in Polk county destroyed a church building.

News 12 Now’s Jamal Williams was on the scene this morning he has this report:

The Mercy tabernacle church that has been apart of the Benton community for more than 40 years is being called a total loss after flames burned through the churches 3 buildings early Wednesday morning.

The blaze was so strong that by the time firefighters arrived on scene they felt like they were fighting a losing battle.

“The main problem we had was it was so involved and when you have a fire that is this involved you are fighting a losing battle from the get go.”

After battling the fire for nearly 4 hours and dumping thousands of gallons of water on the flames fire crews left the scene with flames still visable around the chruch

“It is contained..it is not going to spread.. it is just going to burn and smolder out but for the most part the fire is not going to go anywhere. It is contained and it is the safest way to do it.”

As The Mercy tabernacle congregation deals with the loss of their place of worship, fire investigators are working to figure out what started the blaze.

Arson investigators have been called and will be inspecting what’s left of the church today.

“it is better to cover all aspects at this point in time so go ahead call them in and let them investigate it im not going to go out on a limb and say it was or was not because it is really at this point in time to hard to tell”

*** Daylight photos by the West Polk Volunteer Fire Dept.

Categories: Local News, Polk County

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