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Historic Royse City church burns during Tuesday morning storms

Royse City Methodist Church caught fire and burned Tuesday morning.
Casey Eason
Royse City Methodist Church caught fire and burned Tuesday morning.

The worship building of the Royce City Methodist Church at 305 North Josephine Street in Royse City was found billowing smoke at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Emergency responder crews went to work attempting to extinguish what would become a fully-engulfed structure fire.

At 12:10 p.m., little remained of the state historic site's sanctuary. The steeple and bell tower, once visible from Interstate 30 in Rockwall county, has collapsed.

The building was originally constructed in 1904 by W. Oscar McGraw.

The adjacent Wesley Hall building and the church's Food Pantry building, which sit on the same property, were unharmed during the blaze. Also untouched by the flames were the church's office complex and warehouse space, just west of the Wesley Hall space and playground.

The conflagration was set against a backdrop of cloudy skies, the aftermath of Tuesday morning's violent weather that moved through Northeast Texas in the early morning hours before many took to the roadways following the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

An emergency declaration was issued for adjacent Dallas County as wind speeds reached upwards of 83 miles per hour in parts of the metroplex between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

Hazardous weather has continued to batter North and Northeast Texas over the last several days, and scattered thunderstorms remain in the forecast for each of the next 8 days, according to the National Weather Service out of Fort Worth, including another high chance of severe storms as early as Wednesday morning at 1:00 a.m.

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