Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel
The second floor of Elim Pentecostal Church after a fire broke out there last Thursday.
Fire damages Pentecostal Church of God on Avenue B
Last Thursday morning a fire damaged the Elim Pentecostal Church of God on 12th St. and Avenue B. At the scene on Thursday, Pastor Carlos R. Torres said the fire was caused by a problem with a gas heater and that a front room of the second floor was damaged. Parts of the second-floor ceiling had burned and were missing, the room suffered water damage and the windows facing Avenue B had been knocked out. Large puddles of water mixed with debris from the ceiling covered the floor.
The building used to be a movie theater until it was converted into a church in 1948.
Torres said he was told the church could not move back in until it gets a new certificate of occupancy from the city.
“It will take three to four months to get a C. of O.,” Torres said, as several cartons of books and a sound system were being removed from the 12th St. entrance around noontime. “We’re doing things with drug addicts, people that have problems with gang problems. We put them back on the street with a G.E.D diploma,” Torres said of some of the programs offered by the church.
The large first-floor auditorium appeared to be undamaged.
“The community has been very good with us,” Torres continued. “I’m praying to get a place to stay, I need 5,000 to 6,500 square feet.”