by Diane Tuazon
ODESSA - Odessa Firefighters count their blessings as the roof of a burning church comes crashing down around them while they work to contain a massive blaze on Sunday afternoon.
The fire happened on Clement Street and Broughton Avenue in Odessa.
"It's a shame. It's a church that's been there for as long as I can remember," Resident Danny Dominguez said.
Dominguez said seeing the House of Prayer Baptist Church across the street from his home engulfed in flames was quite a shock.
"My wife and I were eating dinner and I saw the reflection on my television screen. At first I thought it was clouds coming in, but then I turned around and it was a fire and I called 911 right away," Dominguez said.
That's when Odessa Firefighters showed up to battle the flames, but things quickly took a turn for the worse.
"The building had heavy smoke. We sent 2 crews in and within about 4 mins the roof caved in. Thank God they were ok," Batallion Chief Kevin Tinney said.
Dominquez was impressed with how quickly the crews arrived to tackle the fire that eventually left the entire church in shreds.
"They were here quick. I was getting up and dialing 911. Not even 2 minutes went by and they were all here; it's pretty amazing," Dominguez said.
For Chief Tinney and his crew, Sunday was just another day on the job, and they say they're just thankful they came out on top.
"These guys bust their tails off everyday. A roof collapsed on five guys. We could have lost one of our guys today. It just shows what these guys do everyday for the city," Tinney said.