Fire destroys historic Central Texas church, leaving it a ‘total loss’


WESTPHALIA (KXAN) — A historic Central Texas church was swallowed by flames Monday morning and left a total loss, according to a press release from the Diocese of Austin.

The Church of Visitation in Westphalia, near Temple, caught fire Monday but officials haven’t determined the cause. The Diocese of Austin wrote that the church is completely gone.

The State Fire Marshal will investigate the circumstances around the devastating fire, according to a KXAN sister station. Temple Fire and Rescue reportedly assisted local crews with the blaze.

The historic church was founded in 1883 and served 224 families, according to the press release. It was led by Rev. Edwin Kagoo.

“I am saddened for the people of Westphalia who have suffered this tremendous loss,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez. “I am grateful for all the firefighters and departments that responded to the fire.  Please join me in keeping the people of this historic parish in your prayers today as they try to piece together this tragedy.”

Bishop Vásquez will visit the site of the fire Monday.

This is a developing story with limited details. Check back with KXAN for updates.

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