Harrisburg firefighters save church from total destruction

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A church in Harrisburg is still standing after a fire started in its basement on Tuesday.

The blaze started around 6:40 p.m. at St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church at the corner of 17th and State streets.

Firefighters said they had to face challenges like wide open spaces, thick walls and ceilings and even had to cut out some of the pews to get to the fire.

Back-up crews were called to help battle the fire due to the heat and humidity. Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline said firefighters’ quick arrival and the aid from neighboring departments made all the difference.

“Typically, when you see a church on fire — anywhere — it ends up being a significant event. Because of the work these guys did here tonight, it saved the church. They will be able to repair it,” Chief Enterline said.

The ATF is assisting in the investigation — as it does all church fires.

Chief Enterline said no one has been in the building since the weekend.

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