Fire destroys rural church days before Christmas
HANNIBAL (AP) — Members of Baptist church in a rural area near the northeast Missouri town of Hannibal are left without a home after a fire destroyed the church building only days before Christmas.
Fire broke out Tuesday afternoon at Antioch Baptist Church. The blaze totally engulfed the brick structure, burning it to the ground. No one was in the building at the time of the fire. The cause is under investigation.
Pastor Jack Emmite told the Hannibal Courier-Post that everything appeared normal when he left the building about 2 p.m. But not long after that, flames were shooting out of the building. Eventually, the roof and exterior walls collapsed.
The church was originally built at the site in the 1870s.