A Dayton church was heavily damaged in a morning fire, just hours before Sunday services.

Fire crews were called to the Greater Revelation of Christ Missionary Baptist Church in the 1300 block of Danner Avenue shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday, according to officials.

The fire caused part of the roof to collapse. No one was in the church at the time the fire broke out, according to fire crews.

Rev. Carl Turner, the pastor, has been with the church since the beginning. 

“I laid the cornerstone back there, laid the first brick in the building,” he said. “Worked your whole life, all go up in smoke in a matter of minutes.”

Turner went to the church Sunday morning after fire crews arrived.

“I got a phone call and came down here and then fire department was here,” Rev. Turner said. “Somebody in the neighborhood must have called the fire department, seen the flames.”

No injuries were reported, according to Capt. Tyler McCoy of the Dayton Fire Department.

When firefighters first arrived, they found flames coming through the roof, so they couldn’t get inside to get the fire under control, Capt. McCoy said.

“It was so heavily involved, and there’s lightweight trusses that can collapse,” McCoy said. “We knocked the bulk of the fire down from the outside for our safety.”

Crews from the Moraine Fire Department also responded to the fire, McCoy said.

Firefighters were able to salvage some pews, instruments and choir robes, McCoy said.

But now the congregation of about 70 people is forced to take those items elsewhere.

“It’s kind of depressing, and I’m in a state now really don’t know which way to go, what to do,” Rev. Turner said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Capt. McCoy said.

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