Search for answers after fire destroys Brooklyn’s Our Lady of Rosary Pompeii church


NEW YORK – Investigators are working to determine what sparked a fire at a Brooklyn church on Easter Sunday

Six people suffered minor injuries, authorities said. 

Parishioners were heartbroken. 

“It’s just very, very sad. But, on the other hand, filled with a lot of gratitude that people are OK,” Bishop of Brooklyn Robert Brennan said. 

Brennan toured Our Lady of Rosary Pompeii church Monday after Sunday’s fast-moving fire ripped through the church. 

“The major damage is over at the rectory area and parish center. The church’s damage is mainly water damage and smoke damage,” Brennan said. 

Investigators are working to determine what sparked the five-alarm fire as more than 100 parishioners gathered to celebrate the Easter holiday. 

“Right away I see the smoke and say, ‘Everybody get out!'” church employee Salvador Gonzales said. “People listening, people crying.” 

Fire crews arrived and said the smoke could be seen from blocks away billowing from the roof. 

Of the six people who suffered minor injuries, three are firefighters. Those firefighters were taken to the hospital. The FDNY said one of them fell through a floor, and a mayday call went out for him. 

“We had over 200 firefighters and medical personnel to the scene,” FDNY First Deputy Commissioner Joseph Pfeifer said. 

Church officials said those staying at the rectory and parish center will be moved to temporary living quarters at a sister church. 

So, what’s next?

“We have to talk to the authorities, get a sense of what happened, the state of things might be, and then we move forward from there,” Brennan said. 

Contractors have been on the scene Monday, assessing the damage inside. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

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