6-Alarm Fire Decimates 128-Year-Old East Village Church
Early this morning, a 6-alarm fire tore through 48 East 7th Street, at the corner of 2nd Avenue. The flames engulfed the vacant tenement at around 5:00am, and quickly spread to the Middle Collegiate Church next door. Leaving the house of worship completely hollowed out.
More than one hundred firefighters have been battling the blaze for over seven hours already. Four were injured, and transferred to the hospital with minor injuries.
“Our units arrived in three minutes, very fast response time. Upon arrival we had heavy fire showing from the corner building on East 7th Street,” FDNY Assistant Chief John Hodgens told ABC 7. “We quickly transmitted additional alarms to get more help here. We knew this was going to be a big operation. Fire had extended into the church on 2nd Avenue and also into another building on 7th Street. We had all of our units in position and we were quickly able to contain it to that area.”
Saturday’s inferno was the second fire at this address in less than a year. While the cause of the February 10 fire was deemed accidental due to electric wiring, FDNY fire marshals ruled that the current tragedy is unrelated.
“We are devastated and crushed that our beloved physical sanctuary at Middle Collegiate Church has burned,” Reverend Jacqui Lewis said in a Tweet. “And yet no fire can stop Revolutionary Love.”
The church was erected in 1892, and houses 1,300 congregants.
The blaze at this corner exuded an eerie feeling of deja vu, harkening back to the gas explosion that happened on the opposite corner in 2015.
— evgrieve (@evgrieve) December 5, 2020
We are devastated and crushed that our beloved physical sanctuary at Middle Collegiate Church has burned.
And yet no fire can stop Revolutionary Love. pic.twitter.com/R8D3NVjAiY
— Rev. Jacqui Lewis, PhD (@RevJacquiLewis) December 5, 2020
Video 3# East Village new york pic.twitter.com/VLjTiy0cOp
— Wolfaksh (@wolfaksh) December 5, 2020
Per FDNY Fire Marshals: Cause of the 3-alarm fire on 2/10 at 48 East 7th Street in Manhattan was accidental, electrical, building wiring. The current 6-alarm fire at the same location is unrelated. FDNY operations continue and Fire Marshals are on the scene. pic.twitter.com/0FI5KwGPBr
— FDNY (@FDNY) December 5, 2020
Middle Collegiate is such an icon of the East Village. I can’t count the number of times I walked past it and took in its humble beauty.@FDNY is continuing operations on the scene. We’ll do whatever we can to help Middle Collegiate rebuild. https://t.co/Fqke8GjQNs
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 5, 2020