Kentucky Firefighter Injured at Church Fire


An arson investigator said Friday's frigid weather is hampering efforts at the scene of a massive fire at a Louisville church.

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Officials are searching the scene at the Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church, looking for any indication of what may have started the blaze.

Louisville Fire and Rescue Chief Greg Frederick said the call came in around 3:01 a.m. Friday.

Firefighters initially went inside the building but had to move out and into defensive mode as flames spread from the back of the church up to the attic and forward toward the sanctuary.

One firefighter was injured when a brick fell from the church, but he did not have to be transported to the hospital.

Crews finally gained control and put the blaze out around 6 a.m.

Portland Presbyterian has stood for more than a century and was completely restored in 2005. The church has a history that Pastor Willa Fae Williams said will not go down without a fight.

"We restored this body with blood, sweat and tears from lots and lots of people, lots of help from our sisters and brothers across this area," Williams said. "And this means so much to so many people. We have members scattered all across the country who grew up here and have never forgotten their roots. And this is just devastating to so many people."