Delaware

Caught on Cam: Wilmington Church Collapses During Large Fire

Drone video captured the roof of a Wilmington, Delaware church collapse to the ground during a fire Wednesday night. 

The two-alarm blaze started at the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church on Vandever Avenue and North Pine Street around 7 p.m. Wednesday.

"When I came out it was just fire coming out both sides of the building," said Hafeef Byard, a witness. "The front of the building collapsed and everything fell." 

A drone from an NBC10 viewer was above the church as the heavy flames caused the roof to collapse. Crews were eventually able to bring the flames under control. A firefighter suffered a lower back injury. She was treated at the hospital and later released. No one else was hurt. 

A church in Wilmington, Delaware collapsed Wednesday night during a large fire. An NBC10 viewer took this drone video of the blaze.

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire. Neighbors told NBC10 it was the second fire at the church in the past two weeks. 

"I can't fathom two fires in two weeks," said New Jerusalem pastor Eugene Brocks. "This is unbelievable." 

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A Delaware church collapsed Wednesday night during a large fire. Witness Jeffrey Hale took this video of the blaze.

The church is located near newer homes that were also damaged during the blaze. It also sits across from a lot where a chicken restaurant was once located. That lot was cleared about a month ago to make room for new affordable housing. 

"It's just weird that in two weeks it's on fire again," Byard said. "They just started cleaning it out today like this morning." 

Pastor Brocks told NBC10 he's not sure where his congregation will now meet but hopes they'll eventually be able to rebuild the church. 

"This church has given a lot of hope to this neighborhood," said Wilmington City council member Darius Brown. "[It has] given a lot of outreach, its meal programs and donating food to the community and those in need." 

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