HOMESTEAD, Pa. (KDKA) – A church in Homestead is devastated after a fire that started when the pastor was inside praying.
Firefighters were on the scene of a fire at Prayer & Deliverance Church on Amity Street on Thursday.
As NewsChopper 2 flew over the scene, a large presence of firefighters could be seen.
There were no reports of injuries, but the church is completely destroyed.
“It hurts a lot, but I’ve got faith. And I believe God is going to take us to bigger and better,” pastor Bernard Marabel said.
We just spoke to the pastor and his wife of Prayer and Deliverance Church of God In Christ in Homestead. The church on Amity Street has been completely destroyed.
The pastor was inside preparing for a prayer service when the fire broke out. More Tonight on @TheCW and @KDKA pic.twitter.com/TMrHTEh8dK
— PamSuranoKDKA (@PamSuranoKDKA) January 24, 2020
Pastor Marabel, who has been leading the church for 20 year, was inside when the fire broke out, preparing for weekly prayer service.
“I heard some popping, pop, pop, pop and I didn’t understand it. And I got a ladder and looked into the ceiling tiles and I saw the flames,” Marabel said.
Multiple fire crews tried to save the church.
They worked on the roof for a while, trying to douse hot spots. But the church couldn’t be saved.
Jeffrey Mitchell was on his way to the prayer service around 6:30 p.m. when his heart sank.
He and others are faithful to the church.
“Powerful church. I got healed here,” Mitchell said. “I got healed. I had something that I was dealing with, and the power of God is real.”
But even in the devastation, the pastor and his wife say there are messages of faith everywhere.
“I spend a lot of my days trying to reach out to the community and to the members of the church,” Virginia Marabel said. “So I’m like a mother.”
Officials say the fire started in a front room, but there is no word on what caused the fire.
The pastor said the church will be rebuilt.