Arson to Blame For West Texas Church Burning to the Ground in Sa - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Arson to Blame For West Texas Church Burning to the Ground in Sand Springs, Two Juveniles Charged

By: Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9

SAND SPRINGS - Black smoke and flames filled the air as the First Baptist Church in Sand Springs burned to the ground Tuesday morning. 

"At approximately at 6:45 this (Tuesday) morning, we received a page of a structure fire at First Baptist Church in Sand Springs," Tommy Sullivan, Chief of the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department, said. 

Details are still limited but officials say two juveniles have been charged with arson in connection to the fire. 

Jim Piper lives next to the church and was the first person to see the flames. 

"Well, I came out about 6:15 in the morning to do some yard work and in the process looked over to the church in the East and saw a flickering light in the North door which is the kitchen area and I walked a little closer and saw that there was a fire on the stove," Piper said.

Thinking the fire was small, Jim said he reacted quickly and grabbed a fire extinguisher from his home. 

"It's an electric stove and the burners were turned on and there was a roll of paper towels sitting on top of the burners. I turned that off, turned the fire off, came inside and called 911," Piper said.

The church is considered a complete loss. There's not much left of the place of worship besides a piano and a small white cross. The church has been there for several years and people around town are shocked at what happened.

"Well it's always kind of sad to see a building burn down but you always wonder why somebody would deliberately burn down a church," Piper said.

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