Fire officials are working to figure out how a historic Lee County church burned down.
Auburn Fire Chief John Lankford confirmed that historic St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church, located in the 2300 block of Lee Road 10, burned down Monday morning. The church has stood since the late 1800’s. Crews first received the call about the fire around 7 a.m. Central.
John Konstant, Captain with the Southwest Lee County Fire Department, says the sweltering conditions have made putting out the fire more difficult.
“We’ve been here about 6 hours now, it’s been really tough with the heat, which doesn’t help by any means,” Konstant said. “The fire is one the biggest we’ve had out here.”
Konstant says fire beneath the floor of the church also compounds the difficulty of extinguishing the flames.
A former pastor of the church, C.L.Daniels, visited St. Matthew’s to see the damage for himself.
“When I heard the news this morning that the church was burning down, a shock came over me and I hate it, I hate, I hate,” Daniels said.
Lankford told News 3 earlier that nothing seemed suspicious about the fire, and that the investigation is ongoing.
The Southwest Lee County Fire Department is heading the investigation with the assistance of Auburn Fire Department.