Church reduced to burned-out shell after massive 8-alarm fire in Florence Twp., New Jersey
Officials tell Action News that kids were playing basketball in the rear of the church when they reported seeing smoke.
This story originally appeared on 6abc.
A church that was destroyed in a massive 8-alarm fire in New Jersey on Monday evening was still smoldering on Tuesday.
Chopper 6 was over the Fountain of Life Center located on the 2000 block of Columbus Road in Florence Township.
The daylight revealed the extent of damage to the house of worship. A burned-out shell was all that was left.
Smoke from smoldering flames was still rising from the debris.
The flames broke out around 6 p.m. Monday.
Officials tell Action News that kids were playing basketball in the rear of the church when they reported seeing smoke. It didn’t take long before the building was completely engulfed in flames.
According to Robert Tharp, the fire district administrator for the Florence Township Fire Department, more than 150 firefighters from across South Jersey and Pennsylvania helped fight the flames and supply water.
The fire was under control as of 11 p.m. Monday.
“It’s incredibly tragic. This is my entire life and the community here really means everything to me,” said Pastor Matthew Boudwin.
Officials with the church are planning to hold Sunday services in a recreation area of the property that was spared by the flames. A K-12 school next door was also not damaged.
“Even though this building could not be saved, they’ve done everything they can to save our school building, which is attached through a link to the church,” added Russ Hodgins, the lead pastor.
No injuries were reported.
Officials believe the blaze may have started in the sanctuary of the church. The exact cause is still under investigation.
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