Darke County church destroyed in fire Saturday

Miami Valley News

DARKE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – A Darke County church was destroyed in a fire Saturday morning.

Crews were called to the Shiloh Meeting House of the Old German Baptist Brethren Church in the 8300 block of Delisle Fourman Road just after 6:30 a.m.

The Pitsburg Fire Department told 2 NEWS that it was initially a two-alarm fire and was later upgraded to a four-alarm fire.

“The wind played a big part into it too because once it opened up it took off,” says Pitsburg Fire Chief Tracy Mong.

Word of the fire seemed to spread as fast as the flames.

“My son-in-law called us and said he was on his way over here. The church was on fire,” describes church member Tara Cottrell.

Before firefighters could make it inside to get the fire under control, the roof collapsed and they had to take a defensive approach to battle the flames and smoke.

“You don’t know what to think, but the tears just kind of start rolling, and you know it’s going to be okay. It’s just hard to see,” says Cottrell.

Sitting off of a country road, water had to be trucked in, and crews from four counties from more than a dozen fire departments responded.

Crews were able to get the fire under control by 9:30 a.m.

The church was built about three years ago. It’s considered a total, loss but members say they have faith and are planning to rebuild.

“I think something good will come out of it eventually. It’ll pull us all closer together,” smiles church member Evelyn Shellabarger.

“It’s just a building. We’re the church. We just have to pick up and move on. God is faithful,” states Cottrell.

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No one was inside of the church at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is unknown.

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