Chelsea IrizarryJan 3, 2018, 8:50 pmJan 4, 2018, 9:56 am

Firefighters put out flames burning inside walls of church in Middle Island

Damage was isolated to one side of the building

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MIDDLE ISLAND — Members of a Middle Island church are praising first responders for their fast action in putting out a fire started within the walls of its administrative building.

Black smoke billowed out from the City on a Hill Community Church Wednesday afternoon as several fire departments battled a fire in the walls at the administrative offices building.

James Knipe who does maintenance work for the church says initially, he thought the black smoke was back-draft from a fireplace.

Middle Island Fire Department was first on the scene where Incident Commander Walter Olszewski says everyone was safe and out of the building upon arrival. The fire took about 30 minutes to put out, and members of the church say the damage was isolated to one side of the building. Additionally, traffic on Middle Country Road was temporarily backed up.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Brookhaven Fire Marshal.

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