‘Devastating’: Fire rips through Cambridge church minutes after Easter service ends

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Firefighters on Monday remained at the scene of a blaze that tore through a church in Cambridge just minutes after Easter Sunday services were held.

Crews responding to a report of a fire at Faith Lutheran Church on Broadway Terrace around 6 p.m. scaled ladders to the upper floors and doused the roaring flames with water, according to the Cambridge Fire Department.

Clouds of black smoke could be seen billowing out of the steeple as balls of bright orange flames occasionally erupted during the firefight.

For over four hours, firefighters from several towns battled the flames before finally getting the fire under control around 10 p.m.

Cambridge firefighters set up a collapse area out of fear the structure may collapse but the church remained intact. Cambridge police on Monday told Boston 25 that the steeple of the church will need to be torn down.

There was an afternoon service held the church at 4 p.m., according to Cambridge Fire Chief Tom Cahill. That service ended at 5 p.m. and about 30 minutes later, the fire broke out.

After delivering the sermon, Pastor Robin Lutjohann watched in horror as the century-old building was swallowed up in smoke.

“It is heartbreaking and it is…the day started very different. We had a very joyous Easter celebration and now this,” Lutjohann said.

Churchgoers in the area told Boston 25 News they were devasted at the potential loss of their place of worship.

“It is devastating,” Kristin Griffin said. “I was baptized there, and it is just a very close community for me.”

Diane Garner added, “I am afraid there is long-term damage.”

Broadway between Norfolk and Prospect streets remained closed Monday morning due to the ongoing activity.

Cahill noted that more than a handful of homes in the area sustained water damage while crews battled the fire.

In a statement, Cambridge police said, “This remains an extended operation. Officers remain on site assisting with pedestrian safety and detours.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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