Relief Group Loses Supplies In Fire

A fire that destroyed a church group's rebuilding supplies is under investigation.

The Biloxi Christian Church on Big Ridge Road in Harrison County has helped countless families, from South Mississippi to Louisiana, since Katrina.

Church leaders believe vandals started the fire, but the church hopes to continue its mission.

"There were two sheds here and I tried to extinguish the first shed. The flames were already so intense that they jumped over to a riding mower and they jumped over to the second shed that had about 50 to 60 gallons of gas in it," says Ken Wetzel, the coordinator of the relief group.

Wetzel says he awoke early Sunday morning to find all of his church's supplies on fire. From charred lawn mowers to scorched tools, all that was given to the church by other relief organizations is now gone.

"Everything that we do is based strictly on donations. We don't have a lot of overhead. It's all charity work and this is our community," Wetzel said.

The sheds belonged to The Biloxi Christian Church off of Big Ridge Road. Wetzel lives near the church and he says there has been an increase in vandalism in the area. But leaders remain optimistic, even though the small church is forced to start over.

"You try to overlook these obstacles and try to think of the people you know who love and care for you are of so much greater value than any tools or any homes or anything else. That's one of the things that keeps us vested in the church and in the community," Wetzel said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

If you would like to donate tools or supplies to the Biloxi Christian Church Relief Group you can call 228-875-0506.