(Millington, TN) An early morning fire that destroyed part of a nearly 60-year-old church in Millington is under investigation.
Millington Fire Chief Gary Graves said they received the call around 12:20 Wednesday morning and when they got to Saint William Catholic Church on Easley Street there were flames coming from the roof, “It was more of a defensive attack. It wasn't conditions where we could send the firefighters in. We were able to contain it to the office space of the church and it did not get into the sanctuary. There's some smoke damage inside but not fire or structural damage."
Firefighters were able to control the flames in 45 minutes.
The church office is destroyed and will have to be rebuilt.
When Tipton County resident Tina Williams saw the flames on television she began to cry.
Her daughter is getting married at the church Saturday evening, “They said a church in Millington and then y'all went to commercial and y'all came back and they said Saint William and my heart dropped to my toes."
“There goes her day. That's all I could think. There goes her day. It's ruined you know,” added Williams.
She drove from Tipton County to the church to examine the damage.
She was relieved to find the Sanctuary still standing and only minor smoke and water damage.
Williams said the church is planning on having the sanctuary cleaned by Saturday, “The smell is not bad, you know. Just the back area is wet and a little smelly back there. I think it will be a perfect day for them."
The church was built in 1954.
They do plan on rebuilding the church offices.
A Headstart program is held one building at the church.
Although the building was not damaged the Headstart program was canceled for two days. It will reopen on Friday.