YOUNGSTOWN - Four firefighters were injured in a blaze Saturday morning that left a 91-year-old church with an estimated $100,000 damage.
Around 10 a.m. Saturday, the Youngstown Fire Department responded to Mount Calvary Church on Oak Hill Avenue. The rotunda, or prayer tower, of the building was consumed, but firefighters were able to confine the flames to that area, according to battalion chief Gary DiTullio.
The age and condition of the building, which DiTullio said was built in 1922, made fighting the fire a challenge.
"There were several holes in the rotunda floor. We had to have crews be extremely careful up there so that they didn't fall through," DiTullio told the Tribune Chronicle.
Despite their caution, four firefighters were injured. Two were treated at a local hospital and released, but are unable to return to work, DiTullio said, declining to comment as to the nature of their injuries or when they will be fit for duty.
Witnesses on scene told Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV 33 News that a safety crew member was taken away by ambulance after an object fell on him.
The church was empty at the time of the fire, and the cause of the fire was not known late Saturday. DiTullio said foul play is not suspected and the incident is still under investigation.
The building sustained smoke and water damage, but most of the damage was contained to the rotunda, he said.
DiTullio said the building also has had several additions and renovations over the years, one of which is believed to be the rotunda.
A damage estimate was not available late Saturday, but DiTullio said it could amount to around $100,000.
Firefighters cleared the scene around 1:30 p.m.
Mount Calvary's church service will be held at 4 p.m. today at New Bethel Baptist Church, 1507 Hillman St., Youngstown. Information on future services will be posted to the church website at www.calvary4u.org.