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Fire Guts Historic Serbian Church In New York

Fire destroyed a historic Serbian Orthodox cathedral in Manhattan on May 1, just hours after worshippers celebrated Orthodox Easter there.

The blaze at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava began shortly before 7 p.m.

The fire completely destroyed the roof of the 160-year-old Gothic Revival style building, and firefighters were still fighting pockets of fire early on May 2.

Alex Velic, the stepson of the church’s caretaker, said that once the flames started coming out of the top of the church, “people were going crazy” and were in shock.

The Serbian Orthodox Church purchased the building from the Episcopal Diocese in New York in 1943, and the building was designated as a city landmark in 1968.

City officials in New York said the fire was a huge loss for the community and have called for a full investigation into the cause.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters