A fire that broke out on Tuesday, July 21, caused millions of dollars in damages to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox church in Long Island.
According to father Demetrios Kazakis, the fire broke out due to a malfunctioning refrigerator in a small room next to the altar. “Smoke damage is extensive here,” he told WCBS 880. “The heat of the fire itself went throughout the entire church.”
The church had recently conducted an iconography project but all the newly painted religious icons were destroyed. “Not even a month and a half and it’s all gone,” said Kazakis.
Parishioners were shocked to find their church burnt. “I didn’t know what to say. It was heartbreaking to watch everything crumbling in the fire,” parishioner Victoria Lentzeres told CBS2.
“We will come together as a community like we always do, and make it work,” said church secretary Anna Pisani.
Despite the damages, however, Kazakis found a small miracle. The religious icon of St. Nicholas was found in good condition, along with several other religious treasures, such as a box containing 1,700-year-old relics. “We have the relic of St. Nicholas, which is a piece of fragment of his bone, a relic we hold very dear,” Kazakis said.