Five-alarm fire breaks out at Williamsburg church Easter Sunday

fire at williamsburg church
A fire broke out at a Williamsburg church on Easter Sunday.
Photo by Dean Moses

 A five-alarm fire broke out at a Catholic church in Williamsburg on Easter Sunday, injuring five people.

The fire, which erupted at around 1:45 p.m., spread across the second floor of Our Lady of the Rosary Pompeii, located at 225 Siegel St. in Williamsburg. Three civilians and three firefighters suffered minor injuries, according to the FDNY.

smoke fire williamsburg church
The fire began while parishioners were celebrating inside. Photo by Dean Moses

According to Zulma, a parishioner at the house of worship, a mass involving about 150 people celebrating the holy holiday was underway when the blaze broke out.

“We were in mass, and we saw the smoke. We came and started calling 911,” Zulma said, lamenting the damage to the church. “I am very sad … very sad. My grandchildren were baptized there.”

Heavy smoke blanketed the area for several blocks while flames could be observed licking at the sky from the rooftop. FDNY Assistant Chief of Operations Michael Meyers said conditions grew so treacherous that one firefighter fell through the second floor to the first floor. Firefighters called a Mayday signal when the man fell and started requesting help finding the first responder.

firefighters outside church
One firefighter fell from the second floor of the church to the first. Photo by Dean Moses

“He didn’t realize the Mayday was for him so he bounced off the floor, came in and wanted to run back up the stairs to address the Mayday,” Chief Meyers said. “It just shows the bravery of all of our members.”

Meyers went onto say that firefighters were able to contain the inferno and stopped it from spreading, saving some sections of the church.

firefighter after fire
Five people were injured in the blaze. Photo by Dean Moses

“Thankfully we were able to save the church part of the structure. It has some water damage but its undamaged overall. I think that’s God looking down on us today on Easter Sunday,” Meyers added.

The fire was placed under control at around 5:18 p.m. It is unclear what ignited the blaze and is being investigated by the fire marshal.

This story first appeared on Brooklyn Paper’s sister site amNY