A 112-year-old church was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday in Hardin County.
Firefighters spent most of the afternoon trying to extinguish flames from the First United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Main Street and Highland Avenue.
WCMH reports a police officer first saw smoke coming from the roof just after 12 p.m. He said within 15 minutes, the entire church was engulfed in flames.
Two teachers and a group of children in daycare were in the basement of the church when the fire alarm went off. All were able to evacuate and no one was injured.
Hundreds gathered outside the remains of the church just hours later to mourn and pray.
"This is the place that for over 100 years, housed and cared for our worship, our weddings, our baptisms, our funerals ... faithfully caring for each and every one. And that's only part of what she cared for," Pastor Mary Jo Yeakel wrote on the church's website. "The community found her doors open and welcoming, a place to meet, a place to eat, a place to come together. Such faithfulness should bring tears and does bring tears."
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The 10:30 a.m. worship service for Sunday, March 18 will take place at Ohio Northern University's English Chapel.
Read more: WCMH