Video: spectacular fire destroys church in New Jersey

150 firefighters had to intervene to extinguish the flames that also affected an adjoining Christian school.

A Level 4 fire destroyed a church in New Jersey on Monday. The fire, which started around 6:00 p.m. (local time), engulfed the church, located at the Fountain of Life Center in Burlington County, in flames and burned it to the ground. This is how Raws Alerts narrated the event:

A total of 150 firefighters from New Jersey and Pennsylvania responded to the scene in an attempt to extinguish the flames but were not immediately successful. At 7:30 p.m. (local time) the volume of the fire caused the fire to rise to Category 4 of 5. That prompted further safety measures including road closures, as reported by the New Jersey Department of Forest Services Twitter account:

"A devastating loss"

Russell Hodgins, senior pastor of the Fountain of Life Center, gave a statement which was later reported by CBS, that the destruction of the church in the fire is "a devastating loss":

The sanctuary's just been completely burned. The roof collapsing is a pretty embedded image in my mind. When we saw that drop into the sanctuary, that was a pretty devastating image.

The flames also affected a Christian education center attached to the church. The ferocity of the fire, Florence Township Fire District Administrator Robert Tharp told Reuters, prompted a change in the strategy authorities followed to put out the blaze:

Firefighters did a tremendous job of trying to stop the fire interiorly, it was just the size of the building the amount of fire that was here we had to switch our operation to a defensive operation.

At this time, the Department of Forest Fire Services said, the causes of the fire is unknown and an investigation is currently underway: