May 03, 2016
Aleksandar

A large fire has destroyed the Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Sava in central Manhattan, New York City, on Orthodox Easter Sunday.

There have been no victims, but the building no longer exists, priest Djokan Majstorovic said, and added:

“This church brought together the whole community, it was the only one in New York, and now it’s gone. This is terrible, a nightmare, my heart is broken.”

More than 170 firefighters worked for four hours to contain the the blaze that broke out at 19:00 hours local time. The cause of the fire remains unknown at this time.

Earlier in the day, more than 700 Orthodox believers celebrated Easter there. The building, dating back to 1890, was empty when the fire broke out. There were no casualties,

The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) bought the building, designated a New York City landmark, in 1943.The city’s fire commissioner Daniel Nigro told the New York Post that the cause of fire remains under investigation, RT reported. “It’s a very sad day today,” Nigro said.

Also on Sunday, a Macedonian Orthodox church burned to the ground in Sydney, Australia. Four persons, including two firefighters, suffered light injuries. Local fire department officials said that “candles or wiring” are among the possible causes.Media reports are speculating that the fire might have been the work of arsonists,who wished to steal the Easter donations left at the temple.

A 115-year-old Greek Orthodox Church in Melbourne was damaged in a blaze on Easter Sunday. Nobody was injured during this incident, while the cause remains unknown at this time.

Fire also spread on Sunday in a hotel in a 19th century building on the premises of the Orthodox Monastery of Valaam, northern Russia, RT reported. The building was a national heritage site belonging to the monastery.

Source: B92