A 155-year-old church in Hale County, Alabama was totally lost to a fire early Friday morning, volunteer firefighters said.

In a post that went viral after it was shared by Alabama's favorite meteorologist James Spann, Chief Michael Clemmer of the Gallion Volunteer Police Department said they responded to a blaze at the historic Bethlehem Baptist Church outside Gallion, Alabama around 12:40 a.m. Thursday.

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The fire burned for hours, and Clemmer said it could be seen from 8 miles away.

The volunteer fire department said they used 12,000 gallons of water to fight the fire and stayed on scene until 5:30 a.m. Even so, the historically significant site was a total loss.

The church was founded in 1867 by residents of Freetown, a group of Black men and women for former slaves and free people of color, according to the Historical Marker Database. 

Chief Clemmer said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates if they become available.

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