EAST TREMONT - ? A building that houses a church in East Tremont partially collapsed Saturday.

Fire crews were called to the scene at about 6:30 p.m. The incident happened at 4417 Third Ave. near E. 181st Street when the back of the building went crashing to the ground. No one was in the church at the time of the collapse.

"It was a very difficult search because the roof had pancaked right to the floor, so we had to cut through the concrete to make sure no one was there," says FDNY Chief Kevin Scanlon.

The city?s Department of Buildings is also combing through the scene. Scanlon says no determination has been made linking Saturday?s severe rain to the collapse.