Man Dead After Fire At Foyil Old Baptist Church

Sunday, September 21st 2014, 9:13 am
By: Dee Duren

A deadly fire in Foyil took the life of one man and led to two firefighters being taken to the hospital. Firefighters battled the structure fire at a former Baptist Church on South Maple Avenue near East 3rd Street into the early hours Sunday morning.

"This was one of the worst fires I have fought in 30 years on the job," Foyil Fire Chief Randy Atchley said.

The call came in at about 8 p.m. Saturday, and when firefighters arrived on scene the building was fully engulfed in flames. Authorities say the former church had been converted to storage, and there was an attached apartment.

A 65-year-old man is dead. His name has not yet been released.

The State Fire Marshal has been investigating the fire Sunday. They have ruled it as accidental and say it started in the man's bed. No smoke detectors have been found.

9/20/2014 Related Story: Fire In Foyil Claims One Life, Chief Says

The converted church was full of items including several old appliances. The burning appliances were very difficult to extinguish, Atchley said.

The chief said one firefighter was transported by ambulance for chest pains and another for dehydration. Crews were finally able to leave the scene at about 3 a.m. Sunday.

Rogers County Sheriff's Department investigators were called to the scene to investigate the death. Chelsea Fire Department assisted in putting out the fire.