On Tuesday, August 2, at around 1:45 p.m., the Prosper Fire Department received a report of a 3-alarm fire at the First Presbyterian Church on S Coleman Street. The historic church was founded in 1878 and has been part of Prosper’s landscape since 1902.
According to WFAA, fire crews of Prosper, Frisco, Celina, McKinney, Little Elm and Aubrey Fire Departments rushed to the site and worked together to extinguish the fire as fast as they could, aware of the church’s historical importance.
But by the time the crews arrived at the site, there was already smoke coming out of the building. The four walls are still standing, but the interior of the church has suffered severe damage, by both fire and water, and could face extensive renovations or possibly a complete rebuild.
Fortunately, there was no one inside the church at the time of the fire and there were no reported injuries.
The church was founded in 1878, and the building was first constructed in 1892 in Rock Hill. In 1902, it moved to Prosper, and in 2012, the Texas Historical Commission designated it a historical landmark.
“It’s been here longer than anybody else has been here,” Prosper Fire Department Chief, Stuart Blasingame said to WFAA, adding, “Luckily, it’s still standing, but there’s a significant amount of damage on the inside.”
For now, the 50-member congregation will have to attend virtual services until the church decides its next step. Pastor Fowler, who has been with the church since 2000, said, “It’s just a devastating loss. This place is filled with history.” But he added that the church is more than just a building. “We’re not going anywhere. We’ve been here since Prosper became a town.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation by Prosper Fire Department.
In case you missed it, here are some tips to prevent fires during the summer.