Trending Topics

Video: 20 FDs respond to dramatic Mass. church fire

Nearly 100 firefighters were on the scene in Spencer as fire consumed the 160-year-old church collapsing the steeple


Paxton Fire Department/Facebook

By Theresa Braine
New York Daily News

SPENCER, Mass. — A historic Massachusetts church went up in flames after being struck by lightning, fire officials said Saturday.

The 160-year-old church in the town of Spencer, about 10 miles west of Worcester, was engulfed and is a total loss, church and fire officials said.

The First Congregational Church had stood on that spot since its predecessor was also consumed by fire in 1862. According to church history, a building of worship has been on that land since 1743.

“We have recently experienced a tragic fire and devastating loss of our building,” First Congregational now headlines its website, with an announcement of where services will be relocated to for the time being.

The dramatic demise of the church was caught on video as fire devoured the structure, sending the steeple toppling into the body of the building and crushing the walls.

There were no injuries. Nonetheless, residents watched in horror as nearly 100 firefighters from about 20 departments battled the blaze.

“When I came outside there was just smoke and fire everywhere,” neighbor Krystal Sanchez told Boston’s WBTS, adding that she’d seen lighting strike the building right before that, during a storm.

“The top of the building just came crashing down,” she added. “There were people crying. It was really, really bad.”

©2023 New York Daily News.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.