Massive fire engulfs former church building in Birmingham neighborhood

Massive fire at former church
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 10:35 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 11:47 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Fire crews in Birmingham are currently investigating the cause of a major fire of a church in Ensley. The incident took place Monday afternoon at the intersection of Five Points West Avenue and Avenue S.

Local resident and Ensley Highlands neighborhood president, Antwon Womack, shed light on the history of the church, describing it as a community pillar in the past. However, he expressed concerns about the building’s condition, fearing an incident like this would occur.

The two-story church, known as the Warriors of the Words Church, according to Womack, has remained vacant for at least a decade. Birmingham Fire and Rescue crews swiftly responded to the fire Monday afternoon, with flames and smoke billowing from the structure.

Womack revealed that the community had been actively trying to address the issues surrounding the vacant building due to previous minor fires. He voiced frustrations about the building being an eyesore and attracting unwanted attention.

“We’ve had issues with it— squalors and just the idea of it being empty and an eyesore. This is something that I was afraid would happen,” Womack said.

Regarding the ownership of the building, Womack stated that they were in the early stages of identifying the owners. However, their initial contact with a potential owner yielded a response denying ownership.

The Birmingham Fire & Rescue Service has not yet provided an update on the cause of the fire, as they continue their investigation.

The fire drew attention from residents and passersby as heavy smoke and flames consumed the structure. Fire crews had been diligently working to contain and extinguish the fire.

No injuries have been reported.

As of now, no further details about the incident have been released.

WBRC will provide updates on this developing story as additional information becomes available.

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