A Trumbull church needs to rebuild after a devastating fire gutted the building Sunday afternoon.
The worst of the damage is in the back of the Blessed Assurance Prayer Community Church, where Trumbull Fire Marshal Megan Murphy said the fire started and spread up the porch into the attic.
It took nearly two hours for firefighters from Trumbull and Monroe to put out the flames. Nobody was inside during the fire.
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“The people who put their lives at risk on a day to day basis, we’re thankful for their efforts,” said Nick Jarboe, the Vice President of the church’s Board of Directors.
Repair crews boarded up the windows and covered the roof with a tarp Monday morning.
About 30 to 50 parishioners worshiped at the church. It is also home to a pre-school and the pastor, his wife and another church member lived upstairs.
“There was a woman who drove by today and said how can I help? Never seen here before she brought two boxes of Dunkin Donuts and coffee, so we’re getting a lot of support from the community,” Jarboe said.
Guiseppe Ferraro lives next door to the church on White Plains Road.
“It was amazing,” he said, “something I’ve never seen before.”
As Ferraro watched firefighters battle the blaze, he said he worried about the flames spreading onto his property.
“The wind at the beginning was blowing toward my house but thank god it changed direction, so I dropped the hose and tried to wet all the roof and the side of the house,” Ferraro said.
Church members tried salvaging what they could from inside, including some crosses, challises and religious paintings.
“It’s an unfortunate incident,” Jarboe said, “but no losses of life. It’s not a tragedy.”
The church is working with its insurance company and plans for the pre-school’s six students are still uncertain.
Fire Marshal Murphy said her investigators ruled out arson, but they are still investigating the cause.