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Fire Rips Through Vacant Detroit Church

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Smoke continues to rise from a vacant Detroit church that caught fire. (Credit: Matthew Gregoire)

Smoke continues to rise from a vacant Detroit church that caught fire. (Credit: Matthew Gregoire)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Smoke continues to rise from a vacant church on Detroit’s east side after fire tore through the building early Saturday morning.

The two-alarm blaze happened at a church on East Jefferson Avenue between Riopelle and Rivard streets.

Matthew Gregoire, a retired firefighter and documentary filmmaker from Rhode Island, was there to see it all — as he filmed his fourth volume on the Detroit Fire Department.

“When we arrived, there was heavy fire throughout a large portion of the church and fire was through the roof. The engine companies started attacking the fire from the exterior, but it appeared the fire was in a rear addition and a front addition,” he said.

Gregoire said there was already a large amout of visible damage to church when they arrived on the scene.

“It looks like most of the windows were knocked out already, they were broken. There was quite a bit of fire through those windows, but now it’s just heavy smoke,” he said.

No one was injured in the fire. Gregoire said it appears the church was abandoned quite some time ago.

“It looks like its been vacant for years. It’s dilapidated and part of the roof was caved in, so it’s obviously been vacant for a very long time,” he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Follow Matthew Gregoire on Twitter  @provfirevideos

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