Massive 4 Alarm Fire Rips Through Union Baptist Church in Downtown New Rochelle

ShareThis

A early morning four-alarm fire has destroyed the Union Baptist Church on the corner of Locust and Main street in downtown New Rochelle. The church dated back to 1910 and has a rich history in the downtown. The 99-year old church was undergoing renovations in anticipation of the Church's 100th anniversary.

Fire departments from Larchmont, Mamaroneck, White Plains, Mount Vernon and Yonkers were on the scene as the fire went to 4 alarms. The church fire started at 1:24 AM and is still not under control, The New Rochelle Building Department is on scene and will make a determination if the church might have to be torn down. The entire roof is gone and the walls are holding on but they are visibly shaking.

UPDATES: This story was originally posted at 4:30 AM and has been updated throughout the morning. We will continue to update this post until the fire is declared under control by NRFD.

3:03 AM - Main street is closed from North Avenue to Harrison Street, North Avenue is closed from Main Street to Huguenot Street.

3:42 AM - Monroe College dorms on Main Street were evacuated due to the heavy smoke conditions in the area. Water pressure in and around the area is low due to the amount of water that is being sprayed on the fire.

5:12 AM - Helicopters have been overflying the area all morning.

5:42 AM - Con Edison and John Cullen, the Westchester County Fire Coordinator, were on scene. Every news outlet in the area is present.

6:01 AM - There are reports of 1 firefighter being taken away in an ambulance, reportedly a hand injury.

7:52 AM - The there is still very heavy fire in basement according to Deputy Chief Lou Dimeglio of the New Rochelle Fire Department who spoke exclusively with Talk of the Sound. Dimeglio said the NRFD was waiting on a crane to take down the wall on the Main Street side because it was cracking and unstable. He said they were fighting the fire from the outside because all floors inside had collapsed and the entire building was too unstable.

9:15 AM - NRFD has poured an estimated 3.5mm gallons of water on the fire.


Official Statements from City of New Rochelle on United Baptist Fire; Partial Demolition May Occur Tomorrow

4:00 PM - From Fire Commissioner Doc Kiernan: "100 firefighters responded from New Rochelle, White Plains, Larchmont, Greenville (Greenburg) and Town of Mamaroneck- Firefighters from Pelham and Hartsdale covered our vacant firehouses. There were only three minor injuries: high carbon monoxide levels attributable to smoke inhalation. All treated and released."

"Fire is not out; still smoldering under wreckage from the interior collapse. NRFD will keep fire watch for the next few days. There is a high wind warning in effect for tonight, which will fan flames. Tomorrow NRFD will begin investigation to determine how the fire started."

4:00 PM - From City Manager Charles Strome: "Main Street Eastbound between North and Franklin Avenues will remain closed overnight. Final determination of the viability of the structure will be determined between City and Church officials tomorrow morning."

EXCLUSIVE: Water Main Breaks on Webster Avenue Likely Connected to Church Fire in Downtown New Rochelle

Developing...

RELATED:


History of Union Baptist Church in New Rochelle, Former Home to Salem Baptist Congregation

Sara Caldwell on Mon, 02/14/2011 - 15:20
Title: Devastating

That's the only way that I can describe what I witnessed this morning... In the hours breathing in the smoke, talking with those watching it all, and just having such sadness in my heart for our community. But with that said, kudos to the emergency personnel for their hard work.

The church and it's people will rebuild though, and I'm thankful that we have people in the community who give a damn. It was just very sad to watch unfold and to have reported.

Laraine Karl on Mon, 02/14/2011 - 11:10
Title: Church Fire

Driving by ithe church in the summer, their doors were open and I could hear the beautiful singing from that church.

Their New Rochelle neighbors are very sad and will help. Thank God no one was hurt.

southside man on Tue, 02/15/2011 - 01:00

Thank god no one was hurt .
The downtown area was graced with the church for many year's .
It is a shame that it has been damaged and i hope it can be repaired .

Good job Doc ...

Recent Comments

Bob McCaffrey | New Rochelle,...
Ken Lewis | With Regards...
Amy Heyman | REALLY????...
Amy Heyman | Disabled...
Amy Heyman | Richard St....
Anthony Galletta | Privatization...
Robert Cox | Would you like...
Martin Sanchez | Wow
Bob McCaffrey | The Car...
John Imburgia | The butler did...

Google Translate