Fire Tears Through Historic Church in Manhattan's East Village

Officials at Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan’s East Village described their “overwhelming grief” after a six-alarm fire tore through the church early on Saturday, December 5, after spreading from a vacant five-story building next door.

Local media reported that more than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze.

“The Church is not a building, but buildings matter. This is home,” a tweet from church officials said. “God is weeping with us. But like a phoenix, we will rise from these ashes,” they added.

Senior Minister Rev. Jacqui Lewis said they were “devastated and crushed” but were thankful that no one had died. “We’ve been worshiping and doing our ministry in digital spaces since March and that’s what we’ll be doing tomorrow,” Lewis said.

Senator Brad Hoylman tweeted photos on Saturday morning showing that the roof and stained glass windows of the church, which was built in 1892, had been lost to the fire, and said a commanding officer had told him the “structure may not stand.” Hoylman compared the fire to that which damaged Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris in April, 2019. Credit: Duke Todd via Storyful