Massive fire destroys historic New York City church

NEW YORK - A historic church in New York City was destroyed in a massive fire just hours after its Orthodox worshipers celebrated Easter.

The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in Manhattan caught fire at 7 p.m. Sunday, sending massive flames out of every opening into the building.

According to authorities, 175 firefighters were on the scene of the four alarm blaze which destroyed the churches roof.

The fire was largely extinguished three hours later, but firefighters had to beat back small pockets of flames. The cause of the fire has not been disclosed.

Fire officials said the church's caretaker ran inside the Gothic Revival style building to try to put out the blaze but suffered minor smoke inhalation and had to be rescued.

The Serbian Orthodox Church purchased the building from the Episcopal Diocese in New York in 1943. The building was designated a city landmark in 1968.

Some people who live nearby posted photos and videos on social media expressing their heartbreak.

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