Diocesan News

FDNY Releases Cause of Easter Fire at Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Church

A five-alarm fire broke out in Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Church in East Williamsburg during Mass on Easter Sunday.

By The Tablet Staff

BUSHWICK — FDNY investigators released details of the probe of a five-alarm fire that tore through the back of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Church during Mass on Easter Sunday, March 31.

The FDNY said a “hot object, hot embers” sparked the flames and it ruled the inferno accidental.

“I am exceptionally grateful to the men and women of the New York City Fire Department for the skill they showed in fighting this five-alarm fire, ” said Bishop Robert Brennan in a statement.

“Their response prevented any loss of life, or major injuries, and saved the church building from the raging fire that engulfed the rectory and parish center. The respect and love for the Church shown by the members of the FDNY was amazing.”

Bishop Brennan said the Diocese of Brooklyn plans to work with the FDNY to review fire safety and prevention measures, adding that the safety of everyone is a priority. 

“I continue to pray for those who had to evacuate from their Easter Sunday Mass due to the smoke and flames. I do not doubt God was watching over them and the church,” the bishop’s statement concluded.

Around 150 parishioners were in prayer during the 1 p.m. Spanish-language Easter Mass when black smoke engulfed the church. Parishioners quickly evacuated.

The fire left five people, including three firefighters, injured, and the rectory and parish center destroyed. The church was damaged but remains largely intact. 

More than 200 firefighters responded to the scene, and charred remnants of the rear of the church building, including its roof, were scattered across Seigel Street the following morning.