Police say the fire started inside the South Seaville United Methodist Church in Dennis Township around 3:15 a.m Friday. Horrified parishioners watched their memories go up in smoke.
“It’s devastating. It’s beyond devastating,” said church member Rebecca Johnston.
The fire destroyed nearly everything inside the wooden house of worship, which dates back to 1884. The only thing salvaged from the building was a bell.
“I could have had all the water in the county here when we got here and the chances of saving it would have been slim” said Ocean View Fire Chief Joseph Gurdgiel.
Investigators don't believe the fire is suspicious. They think it's likely linked to renovations going on inside the church.
Pastor Rev. Dr. Thomas Perry vows to rebuild the church and donations are being accepted
Please send donations to:
South Seaville United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 158
South Seaville, NJ 08246