“Really Devastated”: Fire Destroys Spring Valley Church

20-foot flames could be seen from the Full Gospel Church of God in Christ for miles Friday night

Pastor Jesse Waters looked at the burnt remnants of the Full Gospel Church of God in Christ Saturday, a day after his church was destroyed in a fire. 

"I was really devastated when I came down and saw the fire in the building," Waters said. "Really shocked."

Waters said the community has been praying for the congregation and that his worshipers are equally devastated. 

"Members of the community said they really enjoy coming by and just hearing the music from the church and the message that was preached from the pulpit," Waters told NBC 7. "They say they truly enjoyed it even walking on the streets and hearing it so they were blessed just by passing by the church." 

Friday night flames shot 20 feet above the Spring Valley church, and at one point firefighters evacuated the structure because the fire was building so fast.

The fire broke out in the church and a nearby print shop after an RV parked in the alley behind the building and underneath power lines burst into flames. 

Witnesses had originally reported the RV exploded, but police confirmed they had not heard anything about an explosion. 

"They're trying to keep it contained," co-owner of the print shop Vesal Fakhri said Friday evening. "But it looks like it's going into this building too and the one next to it." 

With businesses on both sides firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the church. The print shop only suffered smoke damage.

Fire crews had to evacuate the church because of the danger of collapse.

The fire started around 9:22 p.m. Friday in the 500 block of Grand Avenue San Diego police confirmed. 

Crews using two ladder trucks pumped more than 1,000 gallons of water a minute into the church to contain the fire.  Firefighters were able to completely knock it down overnight. 

Cal Fire stood watch at the church throughout the night to make sure the blaze didn't reignite. 

There were no reported injuries. The congregation plans to temporarily worship at another location, but don't know what they will do in the long term. 

The church sent out a statement saying in part: “Our services will be held tomorrow, March 20th on the 1st floor in the annex building located at the St. Stephen's Church of God In Christ: 5825 Imperial Ave., San Diego, Ca 92114…God bless you.”

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