Appleby congregation counting their blessings after fire Saturday afternoon

APPLEBY, TX (KTRE) - Members of the Bethel Baptist Church in Appleby,attended Sunday morning service thankful that their sanctuary is still intact.

"I'm just glad that it didn'tcatch nothing like this on fire, it was bad enough it caught all that stuff onfire," said Ashton Center, Member, Bethel Baptist Church.

Saturday afternoon fire crews from Appleby,Central Heights and Garrison responded to what began as a small brush fire.

"The fire, the wind blew it ontothe roof of another building and so it did a little damage," said SteveEwton, Pastor, Bethel Baptist Church.

When crews arrived on scene about a quarteracre of grass was on fire destroying a building and a popular activity area.

"It was a cinder block buildingso it was mostly just the roof we didn't have anything real valuable inside,"said Ewton.

The fire damaged the roof of the church pavilion where 11-year- old Ashton Center says he and his friends spend a lot of their time.

"Occasionally we play basketball,have games and stuff," said Center.

Pastor Ewton says all the creditgoes  to the fire officials who put outthe fire in about an hour, preventing any further damage to the church.

"I was really amazed at theresponse time of the volunteer fireman I counted four or five fire trucks thatwere here," said Ewton.

While the cost of damage is estimated around $20,000,this congregation is just grateful they have place to count their blessings.

"It could have been much worse ifthe fire jumped over to another building then definitely that would have beenmore detrimental but we're thankful it was contained," said Ewton.

None of the main church buildings wereharmed during the fire.

According to Chief Dave Crawford with theAppleby Volunteer Fire Department no investigations are going at this time.

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