Officials: Central Islip church goes up in flames; no injuries reported
Officials say a Central Islip church was destroyed after it went up in flames early Sunday morning.
According to officials, the call came in at 3:13 a.m. for a fire at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah located on Carleton Avenue.
A total of nine mutual aid departments assisted in putting the fire out.
No injuries were reported.
The congregation has been around for more than 150 years.
It first sat on Church Street after being built in 1869 and then moved to Carleton Avenue, where it has been for a century.
Many of the stained-glass windows that were from the original site were destroyed, but two were saved. Parishioners say they depict the founders of Central Islip who were also essential in assembling the church.
Parishioners like LaVerne Combs say the special thing about the church is how it continues to welcome different cultures as the community has changed.
"We were planning a Juneteenth celebration for yesterday, we were coming in singing," Combs said. "We've come this far by faith, and we are going to take that faith to bring us to the next level. We have to with God's help."
Officials say the fire started in the basement of the church, but there is no known cause at this time.