A beautiful piece of NYC history has been destroyed due to a fire in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
The almost 130-year-old Middle Collegiate Church, located on 48 East 7th Street in the East Village, has been completely ravaged by fire, along with the vacant building next door where the fire initially began. It was a 6-alarm fire, according to the FDNY, which is one of the highest grades of seriousness.
200 firefighters were on the scene, according to NBC New York.
“Our units arrived in three minutes, very fast response time,” explained FDNY Assistant Cheif John Hodgens in a statement. “Upon arrival we had heavy fire showing from the corner building on East 7th Street. We quickly transmitted additional alarms to get more help here.
“We knew this was going to be a big operation,” he continued. “Fire had extended into the church on 2nd Avenue and also into another building on 7th Street. We had all of our units in position and we were quickly able to contain it to that area. We have four minor injuries to Firefighters at this time. We are going to be operating here for a while. The fire is under investigation by our marshals.”
The church dated back to 1892, an irreplaceable piece of New York history. It housed a collection of over a dozen artificially-lit Tiffany windows and a large Tiffany skylight dome, and its bell tower was home to New York’s Liberty Bell, which rang in the birth of our country on July 9, 1776 and has rung for every presidential inauguration.
Church leader Rev. Jacqui Lewis said:
We are devastated and crushed that our beloved physical sanctuary at Middle Collegiate Church has burned. And yet no fire can stop Revolutionary Love. We thank God that there has been no loss of life. We know that God does not cause these kinds of tragedies but is present with us and to us as we grieve, present in the hugs and prayers of loved ones.
Photo Credit: FDNY Response Videos