A church caught fire in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on Monday afternoon, and D.C. firefighters assisting in the response were rescued after a roof collapse, authorities said.
The fire damaged The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Western Avenue. Chopper4 footage shows smoke pouring out of the building.
Montgomery County and D.C. firefighters responded at about 12:25 p.m.
The fire destroyed the roof of the church and crept toward the base of its steeple, putting it at risk of collapse. The flames were so intense that about 100 firefighters were called to the scene.
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D.C. firefighters were trapped after a roof collapse but were rescued and are not injured, Montgomery County Division Chief Charles Bailey said live on News4. No firefighters or civilians were hurt, Bailey said.
“Mayday, mayday, mayday! In the gym. Safety rescue squad 1 has been hit,” someone is heard saying on dispatch audio.
D.C. firefighters were trapped under rubble. Fire officials said everyone was able to get out safely.
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Firefighters were evaluated for any injuries, fire department spokesman Peter Piringer said.
"Mayday was declared as result of interior collapse but all firefighters accounted for," the D.C. fire department said on X.
The fire took hold in the attic and continued to burn, Bailey said.
Chopper4 footage showed thick smoke visible in the D.C. area from miles away.
Church member Peter Kimball called the fire heartbreaking.
“It's just devastating to see it destroyed like this,” he said.
A church employee smelled smoke and called 911, the Montgomery County fire department said.
No information was immediately released on what may have started the fire. Investigators have to make sure the building is stable before they can get inside.
The building was structurally unstable to enter on Tuesday. The fire department estimated damage of more than $10 million to the structure and $1.5 million to its contents.
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