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First Bossier pastor calls firefighters amazing, says fire damaged half of campus

(Courtesy of Bossier City Fire Department)

First Bossier Pastor Brad Jurkovich addressed Bossier City leaders Tuesday to let them know how grateful he and his church is for the effort of first responders to extinguish a fire at the church.

He estimated Monday’s fire at the eastern portion of the property took out 50 percent of the campus.

“That’s major. Any fire is major, but this was big. And when you get a call at 5:45 in the morning from the fire chief, that kinda rattles you,” Jurkovich said. “Just driving to the church campus, just praying. Just asking God to keep everyone safe and not knowing how dramatic it all will be. It just showed me the incredible heart of the Bossier fire department and police.”

He called the Bossier City and Shreveport responders incredible.

“I see what they do but I didn’t really know, and to see how they were having to navigate multiple layers of that issue, it was amazing. So I just wanted to say thank you. You guy’s have been fantastic.”

Jurkovich said church leaders have heard from regional, state and even national representatives.

“Pastors all across this country have been calling. It’s been amazing. It’s amazing what First Bossier means to so many people. And that is very humbling,” he said.

He went on to say the church has lost “a lot of our facility” and there is a lot of clean up to be done, but the important thing is that no lives were lost.

“I just wanted to say thank you and we’re going to have to take some steps moving forward. We’re just asking the Lord to help us with some transitional needs. But we’re still going to meet for worship. We will have worship on Sunday,” he pledged.

The Bossier City Fire Department was first dispatched to a fire alarm call at First Bossier at 5:36 a.m. Monday. It was listed as under control at 3:15 p.m. Firefighters remained on scene overnight to locate and extinguish hot spots and keep watch.

The church sustained heavy damage to multiple buildings including a section of the church known as the old sanctuary.

After being removed from the structure, the bible sat inside the Bossier City’s mobile command post until it
was returned to church leaders. (Courtesy of BCPD)

At the height of the firefighting effort there was a total of 30 firefighting units on scene, 19 Bossier City Fire Department units and 11 Shreveport Fire Department units. The Bossier City Fire Department had approximately 65 firefighters and support personal working the fire over the course of the day. Administrative staff was activated to man units for service in other areas of the city.

The Bossier City Police Department, Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal, Louisiana State Police, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Federal Bureau of Investigation also responded to the scene.

Two firefighters were injured while fighting the fire. One suffered a cut to his hand. He was transported to the hospital by Bossier EMS, was treated, and was back on the job working the fire. A second fireman fell and suffered an injury to his arm. He was transported to the hospital, treated, and released. He is recovering now.

Investigators with the Bossier City Fire Department, Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal, and ATF began conducting forensic work at the scene this morning to determine the origin of the fire. The investigation is ongoing at this time.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.