Brownwood Fire responded to the vacant church at the intersection of Cleburne and Elm around 12:45 a.m. Sunday. The Brownwood fire marshal said Tuesday the investigation found fireworks likely sparked the fire.
"I woke up at the sound of a bunch of fireworks. Then later on somebody came banging on our door and said there was a fire over here," said Tamara Belveal, who looks after the church for the owners.
Belveal woke up shortly after midnight on New Year's Day.
"I tried to get the hose over here, but it wouldn't reach," she said.
Belveal said the owners planned to reopen the church, but will now have to put those plans on hold.
"I guess they wanted to start getting it in shape and everything, but this is what happens. I don't like it. I don't like it, because it's God's place," she said.
The building sustained significant damage from the smoke and fire, but no injuries were reported. Police searched the neighborhood around the church for possible suspects.
The use of fireworks is illegal within the Brownwood city limits.