A horrific five-alarm fire erupted at a New York City church on Sunday, where approximately 170 people gathered for Easter service.

The blaze occurred at Our Lady of Rosary Pompeii Church in East Williamsburg.

“Heavy flames, along with thick smoke, can be seen throughout the Brooklyn area and into Manhattan. Reports indicate that two firefighters have fallen through a floor and are requesting help. Additional firefighting resources are being dispatched to the scene, and police are asking everyone to avoid the area,” Rawsalerts wrote.

“A firefighter has been injured while responding to the four-alarm fire at the church; emergency response teams are coordinating on site,” an update said.

FDNY sources told the New York Post about 44 fire companies rushed to put out the flames.

It’s unclear what started the fire.

From the New York Post:

“During the Mass, they noticed that black smoke was coming out [from behind the altar], and the faithful let me know,” said church priest Father Romulo Marin. “When I turned around and opened to the door [to the church office located behind the altar], it was already on fire, everything was on fire, the roof [in the office].”

The FDNY shared images of the blaze, with dark smoke seen billowing out of the windows of the church and flames reaching the rooftop.

Five people were treated for minor injuries, fire officials said on X. Three of those hurt were Bravest, authorities said.

Officials said firefighters did an “amazing” job putting down the flames — including one smoke eater who fell through the floor and managed to bounce back to continue battling the fire.

“One of our firefighters fell from the second floor, through to the first floor while fighting the fire,” Assistant Chief Michael Meyers.

“This shows the strength, tenacity, and determination of our firefighters. They gave the mayday for him. He didn’t realize that the mayday was for him and he bounced back up off the floor, came in and wanted to run back up the stairs to address the mayday issue, not realizing the mayday was for himself.”

“6 people suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The fire was under control at 5:18 pm. FDNY Fire Marshals are investigating the cause,” FDNY wrote.


PIX11 reports:

Several fire crews worked for several hours to control the fire. Officials said the fire was put out on the first floor but extended to the second floor. The church portion of the building was saved, except for some water damage, officials said.

“One of our firefighters fell from the second floor through to the first floor while they were fighting the fire…They gave the mayday for him. He didn’t realize that the mayday was for him. So he bounced up off the floor, came in and wanted to run back up the stairs to address the mayday issue, but not realizing that the mayday was himself. He was he was unhurt,” said Assistant Chief Thomas Currao.

PIX11 News spoke to some people who were inside the church at the time. They said they were terrified when they saw a puff of black smoke near the rectory while services were underway.

“People get very connected to their parish, so when you see a fire rip through the parish center and the rectory, you know those people that were in the Mass that got out safely…They’re not going to have the joy of Easter fully today because they are mourning what has happened to their own church,” said Brooklyn Diocesan spokesperson John Qualione.

Witnesses told PIX11 News that the priest made sure everyone got out safely. The church is more than 100 years old and a staple in the community.

From PIX11 News:

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