UPDATE 03:40PM 02/04/10: According to ATF investigator, Tom Crowly, Russell Memorial United Methodist Church in Wills Point had been broken into this morning, and the fire at the church has been ruled as suspicious. Investigators say they are just now able to begin sifting through the debris and don't yet know if accelerants were used in the fire. They say it could take 2-3 days to determine if the fire was a result of arson.
WILLS POINT, TX (Van Zandt Sheriff) -- Another church has burned in East Texas, this time in Wills Point. The fire at Russell Memorial United Methodist Church Thursday morning is the 8th church fire in East Texas since the start of the year.
Authorities say a 911 call came in just after 5am from someone on their way to work who saw smoke. The church is located on Highway 80 and 4th Street. Authorities say the fire in the main sanctuary has been contained, but not before the Wills Point Fire Department had to get out of the building when the roof collapsed.
The main sanctuary was destroyed. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Five East Texas fire departments responded. ATF is investigating.
We have a crew on the scene and will have more details for you throughout the day here at KTRE.com and tonight on the East Texas News at 6.