LAWRENCE (TBEN) – An intense four-alarm fire raged through a parsonage at a church in Lawrence on Monday evening, but firefighters prevented the flames from spreading. Firefighters received several calls for a fire at Holy Rosary Church on Essex Street around 6 p.m.
When the firefighters arrived, a heavy fire broke out on the second and third floors of the rectory. The priest who lives there was the only person inside at the time and came out unharmed. He now lives with a parishioner.
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Firefighters struggled to access the building due to the lanes and snow and ice. The teams were removed from the building before reaching the third floor due to unsafe conditions.
“It was a very difficult shootout, but the firefighters and our service firefighters did a tremendous job,” said Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty.
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The church, which is connected to the presbytery by two stairs, has some smoke and water damage, but firefighters were able to protect it from the flames.
Parishioners congratulated the firefighters who saved the church. “They did a fantastic job,” said Raymond DiFiore, who was baptized in the church 78 years ago. “It could have very easily spread right into the church and they arrested her.
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No injuries were reported.