3-alarm fire destroys Donelson church - WSMV Channel 4

3-alarm fire destroys Donelson church

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A three-alarm fire destroyed a church in Donelson Sunday afternoon.

The fire occurred at the St. Mary Coptic Orthodox on Dabbs Avenue just before 3 p.m. Smoke from the fire was visible as far away as Opry Mills.

Church members said there were several people inside the church at the time of the fire.

A teen said he spotted the fire in the kitchen and grabbed a fire extinguisher in an attempt to put it out, but the fire got worse.

Someone called 911 and everyone inside the sanctuary got out safely.

Thirty-five fire engines, ladder trucks, rescues, ambulances and support vehicles responded to the fire, resulting in about 75 fire personnel working to contain the fire.

Damage to the building was severe, but firefighters were able to save a portion of the church that serves as classrooms.

One of the pastors said there are more than 500 families who belong to the church, which could possibly make it one of the largest Coptic churches in Nashville.

Church members said they took over the building from the Nashville Korean United Methodist Church a few years ago.

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