Alabama State Fire Marshal Scott F. Pilgreen has ruled the Sunday fire at Mount Pisgah Seventh Day Adventist Church in Gurley as an accident.
He said the church told him they had recently had paving work done at the church and grass was growing up through the pavement. He said someone used weed killer and then a torch to soften the asphalt near the building to help cover up any cracks where weeds were growing.
Pilgreen believes the torch was so close to the building that it caught the building on fire on the inside but no one noticed it.
The church is now being offered a temporary place of worship after fire heavily damaged the building. The church's pastor said they've been offered Gurley Town Hall's meeting room for their church services. The pastor said they still have to go check out the space to see if it's big enough.
Joy Cavins is a member of Mount Pisgah Seventh Day Adventist Church. She said she was in disbelief to hear about Sunday's fire.
"Over 30 years, I went to a church in Huntsville and to come out here, it's relaxing to come out here. It's real strange and shocking too, because things were just fine when we left here yesterday," she said.
For the first time, on Monday, she saw what's left of the church she started attending about three years ago.
"It could have happened while we were here," she said.
The church's pastor said there is smoke damage in the sanctuary, and the fellowship hall has fire and water damage.
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