Midtown Manhattan church engulfed in flames: ‘Irreplaceable’ 160-year-old Orthodox Christian cathedral is consumed by blaze
A church was completely gutted by a huge fire on the west side of Manhattan in New York. The blaze broke out at the Serbian Cathedral of Saint Sava on 25th Street in Manhattan’s Flatiron district at around 7pm on Sunday. It is not known how the fire started, but Easter celebrations were held in the building earlier in the day, including a lunch at 1pm, according to the church’s website. The extent of the damage is also currently unknown, but images taken by bystanders appear to show the entire building has been destroyed. Three fire engines were scrambled to deal with the fire, FDNY said, as flames could be seen shooting from the rose window at the front of the building. Views from above show the fire streaming from the apex of the church roof, around 50ft above street level. (More from Daily Mail)
Fire engulfed the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Rockdale, south of Sydney (this is not the first time)
Several firefighters were injured by falling bricks and two retirement home residents were taken to hospital as a fire destroyed a church at Rockdale, in Sydney’s south.
- Macedonian Orthodox Church, Rockdale, destroyed by fire
- Four people, including two firefighters, taken to hospital with minor injuries
- Sixty firefighters fought the fire for several hours
Witnesses said flames began billowing out of the Macedonian Orthodox Church’s steeple before emergency services arrived just before 10:00pm on Sunday.
About 60 firefighters from 15 stations were called to battle the blaze, which took several hours to contain.
Three firefighters were injured and two were taken to hospital for treatment after bricks from the collapsing church struck them.
Authorities said they had since been released – one with a minor leg injury, and one with a minor back injury.
About 60 residents from a neighbouring retirement home were evacuated and two residents were taken to hospital with chest pains.
NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins said firefighters were surprised at how intense the fire was.
“It was a very quick collapse,” he said.
“They were surprised by the intensity of the fire and how quickly the building collapsed, and it almost caught people by surprise.
“We’re very lucky only three firefighters were injured.”
Commissioner Mullins said the firefighters who were taken to hospital were both hit by bricks from a collapsing wall.
“One of them hit him on the air cylinder that he was wearing, knocked him to the ground. He was dragged out by colleagues,” he said.
“Another firefighter was struck by bricks along one side on the shoulder, chest and leg.”
Uniting Bruce Sharpe aged care facility resident Ted Nurse said the emergency services had done a wonderful job.
“We could see the flames coming up from the church and it was very high, you know we were very lucky,” he said.
“We’ve been well looked after. While we’ve been sitting out here, they’ve made sure we’re not too cold.
“They’re not given enough thanks, our emergency services.”
NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Greg Rankin said it was too early to say what had started the fire.
It would have been difficult for an arsonist to light the fire without being detected, he said.
“At 10 o’clock, it’s still pretty busy, it’s a pretty busy area around here, and there would have been a lot of people that would have seen someone do something, but again until we actually get someone in to have a look [we don’t know],” he said.
Superintendent Rankin said candles and electrical wiring were both possible causes.
He said police and fire investigators would return to the scene today.