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Fire breaks out at Crown Heights church

An investigation is underway after a church went up in flames in Crown Heights on Sunday night.

News 12 Staff

Jan 18, 2021, 7:05 PM

Updated 1,277 days ago

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An investigation is underway after a church went up in flames in Crown Heights on Sunday night.
The FDNY said it responded to calls of a fire inside Tabernacle of God in Christ Jesus Church on Bedford Avenue near the corner of Sterling Place twice in the last 24 hours.
Pastor Ezell Brown told News 12 the first fire happened around 7 p.m. He said he started to smell smoke and then saw that a garbage can was on fire toward the back of the church before he called 911.
He said the FDNY responded to put the fire out and then took him to a hospital.
"They suggested I go to the hospital because of my age and get checked [because] of some of the smoke was in my lungs" Brown said.
The fire left extensive damages, with all of the windows broken outside and broken glass everywhere. The damage extends all the way into the back of the church on Bedford Avenue.
Then on Monday at 12:30 a.m., the FDNY said it responded to 911 calls that the church was on fire again. Video from the Citizen App captured the large response of fire crews on the scene.
Elder Eric Figueroa of New Life Tabernacle, another church that's next door to the one that erupted in flames, told News 12 that he received calls from neighbors who said the church was on fire again.
"Around 1 o'clock, we got a call from some neighbors on the block, because I guess the fire had started showing [again], and then we rushed back over here, and the fire department put everything out, and they went up on our roof and checked all of the buildings that are connected, because all of these buildings are connected," Figueroa said and added that his church was not damaged in the fire.
Brown, who had just left the hospital, said he was surprised when he came back to the church and found all of the commotion. He said he truly believes the fire was set intentionally.
"Fires just don't start in a garbage can by itself," Brown said.
The FDNY said the fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.


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