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Fire destroys Anna church

By Joshua Baethge
Anna-Melissa Tribune
Anna United Methodist Church Dec. 12, 2020

An early morning fire Dec. 11 completely destroyed Anna United Methodist Church. There were no injuries reported.

According to a release from the Anna Fire Department, the blaze broke out around 1 a.m. at the church located near the intersection of Riggins Street and Second Street. Firefighters from Melissa, McKinney, Westminster, Weston and Blue Ridge were also called to help contain the flames.

The fire is currently under investigation by the Anna Fire Department with assistance from the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The Collin County arson taskforce was also activated to supplement the Anna Fire Marshall’s office and ensure a thorough investigation.

“At this time, the cause of the fire is undetermined, and the investigation remains open,” Anna Fire Chief Ray Isom said. “However, we have no reason to suspect that the cause is incendiary.” 

Anna city staff, City Council and Mayor Nate Pike issued a joint statement on social media that morning pledging their full support and offering to provide assistance. Pike called the news “devastating” and asked residents to keep the church in their prayers.

Church pastor Brett Smith said he’s been touched by the outpouring of support from the community.  He’s received countless social media posts, instant message, emails and phone calls from people in Anna and surrounding communities.

“With us dealing with such complete devastation, that’s just really helped us to get through the rough things,” he said.

The church building was built in the 1930’s and ad an impressive interior that includee dark-colored wood and intricate stain glass windows.  Due to the ongoing investigation, Smith and church staff have not been able to event go through the site and see if anything is salvageable.  He expects to be able to do so later in the week pending the results of the fire marshal’s investigation.

For now Brett says that the church will livestream its Sunday services from First United Methodist Church in McKinney.  He and his staff are gathering ideas and formulating plans for next year, but nothing has been finalized yet. 

He says that anyone wishing to offer financial support for the church can do so by going to the website annatxumc.com, and clicking on the “giving” tab at the top of the page.