Overnight fire damages Sikh church

Overnight fire damages Sikh church


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - An investigation is underway after a fire damaged a Knoxville Sikh church early Friday morning.

The fire broke out shortly after midnight at the Sikh Sangat Church and Community Center on Washburn Road in West Knoxville.

The Knoxville Fire Department was called out to the scene after a neighbor reported the fire.

"The whole back end of the building was involved. Had flames shooting 20 or 30 feet up in the air," said neighbor Harold Pate.

Fire crews also said flames were shooting through the roof when they arrived.  Flames burned through the rafters causing a partial roof collapse.

The flames spread through the building, leaving barely a frame and some rubble behind.

No injuries were reported. Pate said he is glad no one was inside when the fire started.

"It went up quick. Once it got good and going, it went up quick. I was also impressed with the way KFD handled the blaze. They knocked it down," he said.

Firefighters believe the fire started in a back storage area, but the cause is still under investigation.

Officials said due to the damage, future worship services have been postponed.

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