DANBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A three-alarm fire has destroyed the St. Nicolas Church Danbury. Investigators are searching for a cause, as a community is preparing to pick up the pieces.
"It's tough, my mom was here this morning for church so it's hard," said Ann Caruso, a church member.
Church members were overflowed with emotion after the devastating loss of Saint Nicholas church. The 18-year-old church erupted in flames just after 2:00 Saturday. The fire quickly spreading turning into a three alarm blaze within minutes.
The Danbury fire department, along with volunteers, battled the fire for hours. It took over 70 firefighters to put out the blaze.
"I couldn't believe that this had happened, I heard it from my house, the sirens, and not knowing and a neighbor came running over saying that a church was burnt down. I said, the one with the dome? So I rushed down here," said Janina Barz.
"I never thought when we came here it would be this far gone," said Caruso.
It took three aerial devices to put out the flames. The scene was so dangerous that crews could not go inside the church. The roof and walls were collapsing.
"A church fire like this is very difficult to fight because you've got wide open spaces and a lot of surface area and right now it's just been a difficult thing to fight and the amount of damage is pretty severe," said Geoff Herold, Danbury Fire Chief.
The congregation sobbed at the site of their church, which is now charred.
"I can't imagine that what I am seeing in front of me, it's unfathomable. We were here this morning," said Randy Weyant, Church Cantor.
"Some of the things aren't replaceable. The stain glass windows where here from when they moved it here from the middle of Danbury, so it's stuff that can't be replaced . It can be rebuilt and the church will still be here, but there are some things you just can't replace," said Caruso.
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