PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One firefighter was injured while crews battled a fire at a church in the city’s Sheraden section this afternoon.
The fire was first reported around 2:45 p.m. at the Sheraden United Methodist-Episcopal Church on Chartiers Avenue.
WATCH LIVE: Crews battle smoke and flames —
The fire station next door quickly sent crews over to battle the blaze.
One firefighter was transported to UPMC Mercy with minor injuries.
“All hell broke loose,” church member Karen Geyer said as she watched the flames.
Joe Kolb watched from across the street as parts of the roof collapsed.
“As soon as we got here, the flames came through the roof. I knew it was bad,” he said.
According to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones, crews had a challenge because of the architecture of the ceilings.
Wayne Meyer served as the pastor for the past 13 years until this past July. He said the building was a beacon for the community. It has been there for about 116 years, and the congregation has been around for 130.
“It’s like losing a friend or a relative, and there will be a sense of mourning,” he told KDKA.
Meyer said roofers were fixing leaks on the roof when the fire started, and they were able to make it out unharmed.
“We can replace things, we can’t replace people,” Meyer said.
As the flames caused heavy damage inside the church, the congregation circled up and prayed.
“My heart hurts for this neighborhood that this church suffered in such an extraordinary way,” Supervising Pastor of the United Methodist Church Pittsburgh Reverend Dawn Hand said.
They are not sure if they will be able to rebuild, but they will be able to continue their worship at the Christ Community Church in McKees Rocks.
“The church is right here in our heart. Our parishioners, they will continue their faithful work,” Rev. Hand said while smoke came out of the church.
The fire is now under control after Pittsburgh Firefighters say 60 first responders worked for 2 hours to contain the fire and save the church.
Officials have not yet released the cause of the four-alarm fire.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.