Northeast Knoxville church needs donations after devastating fir

Northeast Knoxville church needs donations after devastating fire

Posted:
It happened around 7 a.m. on the 4000 block of Oakland Drive. It happened around 7 a.m. on the 4000 block of Oakland Drive.
Saturday kicks off the church's opening weekend. They were planning to feed about 500 families, but all of the donated food was in the basement-and is now destroyed. Saturday kicks off the church's opening weekend. They were planning to feed about 500 families, but all of the donated food was in the basement-and is now destroyed.
By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Northeast Knoxville church is in need of food and clothing donations after a fire at the building early Friday morning.

It happened around 7 a.m. at the Iglesia Christiana Restauracion on Oakland Drive. 

Officials at the scene told 6 News someone saw smoke coming from the bell tower and then alerted authorities.

Knoxville firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in 10 minutes, keeping it contained to the basement area. They say it started accidentally in a refrigerator in the basement.

Saturday kicks off the church's opening weekend, to celebrate members were planning a community food drive. They had collected enough food for about 500 families, but all of it was destroyed by the fire.

Pastor Jessica Cueto says the church signed the lease to the building Thursday night, just hours before the fire.

"We don't have anything. I'm concentrating that we need to feed these people that already need the food, and the clothing, and they're coming no matter what, so we have to have a happy face and show them that we have a powerful God," Cueto said.

The church lost about $3,000 worth of food they were getting ready to donate.

"When you see this and you see all this building that burned, and you see all of our food is gone, and you see all of those 18-hour days that we were doing for three weeks, but you know what we're still here and we're still with a smile on our face. Why? Because we serve God," said Cueto.

Since the fire, more donations have been pouring in.

"A lot of people are looking forward to having this food. We're going to make sure they get it," said volunteer Willie Wilson.

Members set up tents outside the church Friday night They will be staying the night there so they can keep collecting donations and prepare to have their food drive.

It starts at 10 Saturday morning.

The church is asking for anyone who can to drop off donations of food or clothing to 4016 Oakland Drive.

For more information on the food drive, you can call the church at (865) 230-7254.
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