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Easter Sunday: Brooklyn Church caught fire

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About 150 worshipers were inside the Our Lady of the Rosary Pompeii church in Brooklyn, New York, when a deadly fire broke out during Easter Sunday Mass, according to the FDNY.

The rectory area on Seigel Street is where the five-alarm fire started. Three firefighters and three civilians were among the six people who suffered minor injuries.

Several fire units were on the scene for several hours as the fire was contained. The fire spread to the second story even though it had been put out on the first floor. Amazingly, the church building remained mostly intact despite some water damage.

Assistant Chief Thomas Currao described a terrifying event in which a firefighter, not realizing that he was the target of a mayday call, fell from the second story while suppression efforts were underway but survived.

During Mass, witnesses reported being terrified when they saw black smoke close to the rectory. Speaking on behalf of the Brooklyn Diocese, John Qualione bemoaned the effects on parishioners, pointing out that people have a strong emotional bond with their place of worship.

The priest made sure that everyone in the congregation safely left despite the pandemonium. The community places great importance on Our Lady of the Rosary Pompeii, a venerable institution that has been around for more than a century.

Investigations are still ongoing, but the fire’s cause is still unknown.

Experienced digital journalist Jonathan Rizk covered the event. Rizk joined PIX11 in August 2022 and has been a vital member of the local news reporting teams in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

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