Investigators rule out possible causes of Tuscaloosa church fire

Cause of Tuscaloosa church fire still unknown

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - The smoke has cleared and the fire is out at Tuscaloosa’s Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, but that doesn’t make learning what started the fire any easier.

“In this case, it’s a very challenging scene because it’s a large building that burned completely up,” Chief Deputy Chris Williamson with Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue explained.

He said some signs that would normally help them determine what started it have been destroyed.

Investigators don’t believe the fire was the result of criminal activity or that it was intentionally set.

“They feel pretty confident in saying that the fire started in the older building towards the rear and in the attic space,” Williamson added.

The church did not have a sprinkler system.

Williamson also said the way the building was built made it easier for fire to spread throughout the building. ″This fire went very quickly from beginning to end. When we first arrived and actually thought there was a regional chance of putting it out," he concluded.

Williamson went on to say building codes changed after the church was built. Churches and similarly constructed buildings now have certain requirements they must follow when being built that would make the fire that happened there less likely to happen.

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