Clearfield • After watching a fire burn part of his church for over an hour, Pastor John Parsley seemed surprisingly calm as he looked on at the smoke billowing from Clearfield Community Church.
He had already had his moment where he felt like he may cry, he said while fire crews continued to battle the blaze that had sparked in the basement of the church where he had been pastor for 4½ years.
But he knew everything would be all right. God built the building, Parsley said, and another could be built.
"We always knew that's just a meeting place," he said. "It's only a meeting place."
Fire officials were investigating what sparked the blaze on Tuesday that spread through the basement of the church at 200 S. 500 East.
North Davis Fire officials were called to the fire just after 2:30 p.m. As of Tuesday evening at 7:30, the fire had been put out, but crews were still at the scene.
Parsley said he was in his office on the upper floor in the church working on his Palm Sunday sermon when he was alerted by a woman at the church that there was a fire in the basement.
He unplugged his laptop, he said, and ran through smoky hallways to get outside. Parsley said the woman, along with a home school group of 10-15 adults and children were in the church at the time the fire started. They all got out of the building safely, and were sent home for the day.
Parsley said he doesn't believe the fire was intentionally set.
Crews from North Davis, South Davis, Layton, Clinton and Sunset fought the blaze Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters went through 3,000 gallons of water a minute.
Clearfield Community Church will hold Palm Sunday and Easter services as scheduled, Parsley said, but it is unknown where the church will hold those services.
Tribune reporter Kimball Bennion contributed to this story.