NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A fast-moving fire has severely damaged a church in Newark.
Authorities say no one was inside the First Way of the Cross Church when the fire broke out around 7 a.m. Thursday.
No injuries were reported.
The fire damaged several areas of the one-story Apostolic church and caused minor exterior damage to a residential home next door. Officials say the church dates back to the late 1930s.
Parishioner Edward Easterling told WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp about 100 people attend the church.
“It’s not a real big congregation, but it’s a tight-knit one,” he said.
He joined not long after another fire years ago.
“It’s worse, because of the equipment that’s gotten lost — the organ, the musical instruments, the pews damaged heavily,” he said. “So I don’t know, I’m just leaving it in the hands of God and see what happens.”
Authorities say no events were planned at the church on Thanksgiving Day, but it operates a hot meals program that usually feeds about 25 to 30 people every day.
The fire was brought under control in about 30 minutes.
Harp also spoke with the owner of 5 Star Restoration, who volunteered to help with the cleanup.
“Extensive water damage, as well as fire damage,” he said.
He said the building wasn’t insured.
“It was a tragedy, especially on Thanksgiving,” he said.
It wasn’t known Thursday how much the building repairs will cost.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)