Extra-Alarm Fire Guts Church in Gary

Thursday, Dec 5, 2013  |  Updated 6:00 AM CDT
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A 3-alarm fire gutted a church in Gary, Ind. overnight. Emily Florez reports.

A 3-alarm fire gutted a church in Gary, Ind. overnight. Emily Florez reports.

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A small church in Gary was gutted late Wednesday night when an extra-alarm fire sparked in a residential building.

The 3-alarm fire burned through the storefront space at 7th Avenue and Washington Street just before midnight Wednesday, officials said.

Most of the burned building was vacant but a small church inside the storefront was destroyed, and the pastor devastated.

Pastor Atte Eskew said the church, called God's House of Prayer, was working to help those struggling in the area, offering several homeless people warm food and relief from the cold.

“We’ve opened the doors of the church and let them come in,” she said.

Eskew lost her husband just seven months ago and said the loss of her church is overwhelming.

Administrators from the 21st Century Charter School of Gary, across the street from the fire, said the school plans to remain open and will make adjustments to avoid the debris.
 

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