FIve-alarm fire rips through a Catholic church on Easter Sunday

BROOKLYN, NY – A five-alarm blaze disrupted Easter Sunday services at a Brooklyn Catholic Church, leading to a vast response from the New York Fire Department. The fire initiated at Our Lady of the Rosary Pompeii on Seigel Street in Bushwick just prior to 2 p.m.

Footage circulating on social media platforms depicted the flames erupting from the church. The fire resulted in injuries for six individuals, including three firefighters and three parishioners. All injuries were reported to be minor.

During the Easter services, attendees detected the smell of smoke, leading to an immediate evacuation and call for assistance. “While Easter services were being conducted, parishioners smelled smoke and immediately evacuated. There were about 150 parishioners inside. We responded to the adjoining building of the church,” stated First Deputy Commissioner Joseph Pfeifer. “The fire was intense and quickly escalated to five-alarms.”

Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire on the first floor, but it had already spread to the second floor. Despite some water damage, the church section of the building was preserved.

“One of our firefighters fell from the second floor through to the first floor while they were fighting the fire. Other firefighters gave a mayday, and not realizing the mayday was for him, he bounced up off the floor and wanted to run back up the stairs to address the mayday. He was uninjured and able to continue to fight the fire. This just shows the bravery of all our members as they’re out here trying to save lives,” shared Assistant Chief Michael Meyers.

The fire was brought under control by 5:18 p.m., with FDNY Fire Marshals now investigating the cause.

“People get very connected to their parish, so when you see a fire rip through the parish center and the rectory, you know those people that were in the mass that got out safely… They’re not going to have the joy of Easter fully today because they are mourning what has happened to their own church,” Brooklyn Diocesan spokesperson, John Qualione, expressed to local media outlets.