Putnam County church heavily damaged in fire

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A 100-year-old Putnam County church was heavily damaged by fire early Friday morning.

A hundred firefighters from Putnam County and about 19 other nearby fire departments responded to the fire at Lifespring Church north of Greencastle. 

"It was very heavy smoke when they got here, so they called additional help," said Russ Evans, Putnam County Emergency Management.

The Lifespring Church is located at the corner of U.S. 231 and Putnam County 500 North. The 911 call came in just before 5:00 a.m.

A passerby noticed heavy smoke and alerted the fire department.

Severe cold and no water supply hampered firefighters' efforts. The church is in a rural area and water had to be trucked in. Crews from as far away as Crawfordsville and Danville responded.

"Our number one enemy is the weather. It is well below zero. There's no water supply in this area of the county, so water had to be hauled in from Greencastle, which is about five miles south of us," said Evans.

The sheriff shut down traffic on US 231 southbound at US 36. That opened back up before noon. 

Aerial pictures from Chopper 13 HD showed the sprawling complex completely engulfed. 

The church, which has about 150 members, has insurance. It was established as Somerset Christian but changed its name to Lifespring in 2011.

No one was inside the church at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. Firefighters left the scene shortly after 2:00 pm.

Church leaders say they've received offers of help and worship space from surrounding churches. LifeSpring Minister Gerron Ayento was in Dallas Friday afternoon and said he will meet with church elders before deciding what to do about Sunday services.