PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Hill District church was significantly damaged and a firefighter injured after it caught fire overnight.
It started at around 1 a.m. at the New Light Temple Baptist Church on Centre Avenue.
Firefighters were forced to battle the extreme cold and the flames.
One firefighter was injured while responding, when he slipped on the ice.
“Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the lord giveth, the lord taketh away,” said Rev. Phillip Battle.
That’s all Battle could say when he saw what was left of his office. The flames caused the roof to collapse over his office, leaving huge piles of debris on the floor.
“The sofa is gone,” he said. “My desk is gone, over here, you could see my little library is gone, my computer, my laptop is gone.”
A huge blue tarp covered the hole that was left in the roof. Workers are trying to salvage what is left, but the church is in no condition for Sunday services.
“Tomorrow we’ll be partnering with another church for service,” said Battle. “Hopefully in a couple of weeks, we’ll be able to get into our fellowship hall in the lower level.”
Although Battle’s office was destroyed and the church damaged, he says that won’t stop them from moving forward.
“We’re still on fire for Jesus,” said Battle. “So the church is in us, it’s not the monumental building and anything like that. This is really what we live for, so God can show himself through restoration.”
The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical, but is still under investigation.
Stay with KDKA for more information.