Fire rips through popular New Rochelle church
Fire damaged a popular church in New Rochelle this morning.
Fire officials say flames broke out around 8 a.m. at the Zion Evangelical Baptist Church on Lockwood Avenue. They say no one was inside at the time.
Close to 70 firefighters battled the flames from different angles while several fire departments from neighboring communities were called in to help with the three-alarm fire. The flames caused extensive damage to storage and living areas.
New Rochelle resident Beth Bartlett is sad to see the church go up in flames. She says it's a place that brought her comfort as a child.
"I used to walk by Memorial Highway and see that cross and it always gave me spiritual awakening that God is with us," says Bartlett.
Fire officials say the size and construction of the church made it a difficult fire to fight. "There's a lot of void spaces in these old churches, a lot of dry wood so once the fire gets going, there's a lot of fuel inside, sad to say, and that's not a good combination," says New Rochelle Fire Department Chief Andy Sandor.
There is no word yet on the cause of the fire.