'Devastating': Father's heartbreak after church fire
FATHER Jamie Collins has been left devastated after his church was engulfed in flames last night.
The All Saints' Catholic Church in Roma caught on fire at 8.30pm Thursday, with local residents rushing to fight the fire with garden hoses before emergency services arrived.
Queensland Police investigations Friday morning concluded the fire isn't thought to be suspicious, however damage to the 57-year-old church has seen the sacristy burnt to ash.
Fr Collins has been left to pick up the pieces.
"It's devastating," Fr Collins said.
"It is devastating for a lot of people who take pride in their church, there is a lot of sad people around today seeing the damage to the building.
"I don't have an indication of the monetary cost of the damage, all of the priest's vestments have perished but a lot of parish records have been saved due to our fireproof safe, although entry to the safe was a bit hard as the handle completely melted off."
A Queensland Fire Emergency services spokeswoman said the fire was being treated as non-suspicious, and was caused by an electrical fault.
"At 8.30pm we received a call that the church was on fire, five crews attended the scene and confirmed it was a structural fire," QFES spokeswoman said.
"The fire was extinguished by 9pm, dampening the hotspots and ventilating the building by 10pm followed by a final search with all fire activity wrapping up by 11pm."
Fr Collins said the fire had every chance of spreading into the main body of the church and was grateful for a prompt fire response.
"I'm very relieved it didn't spread into the main body and very fortunate and appreciative of the great effort by fire emergency workers to contain it," Fr Collins said.
"But I'm very overwhelmed with the level of support from people given, the phone hasn't stopped ringing and the text messages keep coming through."
Final investigations are continuing.
"We are waiting for investigations happening today, once police give us the clear to clear it up we will be able to make a decision whether or not there will be a Sunday mass," Fr Collins said.