UPDATED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 11:13am
Temple, TX — Temple firefighters were putting out a fire at a vacant church building, located at 15 South Martin Luther King, near the East Avenue A intersection.
According to Thomas Pechal, spokesman for the Temple Fire Department, fire crews were called to the scene just after 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. The fire was under control by 10:31 a.m.
The owner of the vacant building is The Family Life Center. The building was orginally owned by the Kuykendall Motor Company.
Pechal says because the building is vacant, no one is allowed to be inside and no utilities were on. The church that owns the building relocated to another area in town. However, when the fire broke out, Pechal says one man was sleeping inside the building. That man reportedly broke out a window and hurt himself while trying to escape from the fire. He has been arrested and faces criminal tresspassing charges.
Pechal says the fire department has reason to believe that there was more than just that one person inside of the building last night, however he was the only person there when the fire started this morning.
The building suffered significant damage, but the roof and walls are still standing. Lots of black smoke was highly visible coming from the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. However, Pechal says with the unauthorized persons sleeping inside the building, the fire could have been sparked by carelessness by something as minor as an improperly discarded cigarette.