Downed wires spark fire in historic Cape May church

A commercial truck snagged electric utility wires that sparked a fire in the Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cape May. (Courtesy of Matthew Eck, Cape May Fire Department)

A commercial truck snagged electric utility wires that sparked a fire in the Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cape May. (Courtesy of Matthew Eck, Cape May Fire Department)

A commercial truck snagged electric utility wires that sparked a fire in a historic Cape May church on Saturday, authorities say.

The blaze sparked around 11:30 a.m. in the Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church on Franklin Street when the wires dropped onto the building.

Firefighters were not able to battle the blaze upon arrival since the entire building was electrically charged and requested a second alarm, according a Cape May Fire Department news release.

A video posted to the fire department’s Facebook page shows intense flames and smoke extending from the church’s entrance.

Power was then secured by the electric utility, allowing crews to make an “aggressive attack” to bring the fire under control 15 minutes later, the release said.

The building, constructed in the late 1800s, suffered extensive damage, authorities said. Heavy machinery was later brought to the scene.

No injuries were reported.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.