Church holds Sunday service hours after fire burns building

TACOMA - A church in Tacoma didn't let a fire that gutted their building hours earlier stop them from worshipping at their weekly Sunday service.

Crews responded to a report of a wildfire near the freeway, along SR 512, in Tacoma's Midland neighborhood. That’s when they noticed the church had caught fire.

The flames nearly destroyed the main building of the “Community Christian Church" on South 104th, a block east of Portland Avenue.

The church held its 10:30 am service in a second, undamaged building.

“The hardest thing in this last 24 hours is someone saying, ‘It doesn’t look so bad.' And we didn’t know until we got in here,” said Randy Musgrave, the church’s senior pastor. “And it was when daylight came, when we could actually see the damage that was done and look at how bad it was inside. And it was devastating. It was severe.”

The fire burned through the sanctuary, offices, the lobby and restrooms.

"We do still have a facility that still allows us to meet on Sunday morning,” Musgrave said. “So we're very thankful for that. At this time, it's just family, pulling together."

The fire also destroyed everything in a food bank that’s operated by the church. Members are now scrambling to replace what burned so it can serve families that need help this week. Investigators are calling the fire "accidental."