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The firefighters first had to battle the flames, then, dodge hundreds of pounds of falling bricks as the walls of the church crumbled to the rain-soaked earth.
District 6 fire chief Tim Moyers says burning churches are some of the most dangerous places his men and women rush into.
"Churches are real dangerous because they're a large structure and it's open so you have a lot of roof collapse," Moyers said.
That's exactly why he followed his instincts to save his fellow firefighters.
"When I arrived we could see the roof buckling so I pulled them out," Moyers said. "As soon as I pulled them out the roof collapsed."
Fire officials received the call just after 1:00 p.m. They say no one was inside and there were no injuries.
Wanda Beaird saw the flames from her home across the street.
"It was engulfed," Beaird said. Just a big engulfed ball of smoke. "That was the first thing I saw. Then all of a sudden I saw all these flames protruding out of the sides. It was very frightening."
As the flames spread, she found the pastor, who lives next door to the church and consoled him as the walls literally crashed down.
"As we embraced, I could tell his heart was very heavy," Beaird said.
But from the tragedy, there was hope, as two firefighters salvaged the cross from the rubble, and carried it away from the smoke.
"People rally in moments like this," said Jeff Sexton, the assistant district superintendent of the Tennessee Church of the Nazarene. "There's an energy that comes, there's a unity that comes that sometimes doesn't exist except in the wake of a tragedy like this."
Sexton said this wasn't the first time the congregation lost its home to a fire.
He said the congregation formed in 1948 and its original building was destroyed by a fire in the 70s and rebuilt at its current address in Antioch.
Fire officials said the cause of this fire is still under investigation.
Monday, January 14 2013, 03:26 PM CST
Tenn. Powerball ticket worth $1 million
May 19, 2013 18:44 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Powerball ticket sold in Tennessee barely missed winning a share of an estimated $590.5 million prize. But the ticket has a nice consolation prize worth $1 million.
Officials say the Powerball ticket worth $1 million was sold in Chattanooga.
There's no word yet on who won.
A Powerball ticket sold at a supermarket in Zephyrhills, Fla., matched all six numbers selected Saturday night for the estimated $590.5 million prize. It's the highest Powerball jackpot in history.
The winning numbers were 10, 13, 14, 22 and 52, with a Powerball of 11.
Gauge of US economy's future health up in April
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A measure of the U.S. economy's future health rose in solidly in April, buoyed by a sharp rise in applications to build new homes and apartments.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: LABOR GROUP SAYS CONDITIONS AT APPLE PLANTS IMPROVING
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A labor group Apple joined to assess working conditions at three manufacturing plants in China, where its products are made, says conditions are getting better.
ON THIN ICE?
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- He was already on thin ice with the law when he failed to meet the conditions of his probation.