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Major fire damages portions of First Bossier

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First responders battled a fire at First Bossier church in early December that severely damaged roughly half of their campus. (Sean Green/Press-Tribune)

A large fire broke out at First Bossier Monday morning, damaging a portion of the church.

Smoke was first reported at 5:30 a.m. at the daycare and youth spaces as well as the old sanctuary section of the church, all of which face Pierre Bossier Mall.

“The fire hit the older parts of our campus, specifically the daycare space which we also use for Sunday School on Sunday mornings. Our old sanctuary (now Faith Chapel), an iconic building on our campus, has also sustained major damage. Our student area/youth building has also been heavily damaged,” said First Bossier Pastor Brad Jurkovich.

Both Bossier and Shreveport units responded with 23 Bossier units and 12 Shreveport assisting as of 10 a.m.

As of 10 a.m. Monday morning, the fire was contained but units were treating it as an active fire, in what is known as “fire attack” mode. Copious amounts of smoke could still be seen billowing out of the section of the church, blowing down East Texas Street.

Crowds of bystanders gathered on the south side of Pierre Bossier Mall on Monday morning to watch first responders battle a fire at First Bossier church.

There were no reported injuries from civilians. Only one firefighter suffered a minor injury, receiving a laceration on his hand, and has been released.

Due to the fire, East Texas and Beckett street have been closed indefinitely.

Bossier City called in some off duty personnel to allow for reallocation of resources around the city.

“With something of this size, that’s part of bringing in those other shifts to come in on duty. We’re shifting some things around to make sure everything stays protected,” said Bossier City Public Information Officer Traci Landry.

Despite the damages, Pastor Jurkovich was staying optimistic.

“It has been quite a morning. Bossier City and Shreveport Firefighters have done an amazing job. They came in very quickly. The Bossier City Fire Department was working hard right out of the gate and then the Shreveport Fire Department came over and started assisting. Both fire departments have been unbelievable,” he said.

He also added that the church is very thankful for the prayers of the community.

“So many people from across the country have already been in touch with us this morning. We are very thankful for the outpouring of support and that there were no injuries. That is a true blessing,” Pastor Jurkovich added.

Due to the nature of the blaze, the investigation is just now starting to ramp up to determine the cause of the fire. 

“We’re starting to interview some eye witnesses and that preliminary part of the investigation,” Landry said.

A major fire also took place at the church in 1984. Starting in the Baptistry, it destroyed much of the church. The church operated in temporary quarters until rebuilding was completed in 1986.

The BPT will update with more information as it becomes available. You can see more photos below: