PORTER An early-morning fire caused extensive damage to The First Baptist Church of Porter Monday.

When crews from the Porter Fire Department arrived just after 5:30 a.m., the flames had spread through the education building and gymnasium.

Firefighters pulled a second alarm and crews from Houston, New Caney, The Woodlands and other nearby communities rushed to the scene.

Around 50 firefighters quickly brought the fire under control. One of them was hurt when a piece of sheet rock fell on him.

The front building that houses the educational rooms is likely a total loss.

It s pretty extensive. It s shocking when you walk thru to see the devastation there and the amount of smoke in the rest of the building, said Pastor Ray.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Ray said it started near an electrical panel.

The pastor said services will continue at the church, but they will have to find another location for classes.

Full demolition and cleanup will likely take about three weeks.

By Easter, I predict that building will be completely full, said retired pastor Don Harris.

About 600 people attend services at the church each weekend.

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