Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Rectory and Parish Center Destroyed in Easter Sunday Fire

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY

By Jessica Easthope

Staff at Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii are already fielding questions from people wanting to donate and help after Sunday’s devastating fire, but during his visit, Monday, Bishop Robert Brennan said what the church needs more than anything is prayer.

Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii on Seigel Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn is in ruins after a fire ripped through the parish center and rectory. The flames sent parishioners running during Easter Sunday mass.

“It was our last service of the day, everybody was happy,” said Mariluz Cruz a secretary at the church. She was attending the 1:15 p.m. Spanish mass on Easter Sunday when the fire broke out, she suffered burns to her hand but says she barely remembers what happened after she saw the smoke.

“It was so hot, we just had to go back I don’t know what happened after that, one parishioner said she told me get, out get out but I didn’t even hear that,” she said.

Mariluz and nearly 150 others were in the pews, celebrating the most joyous day of the year when thick black smoke came pouring out of the door to the sacristy. Fr. Romulo Marin was celebrating the Spanish mass.

“I took the fire extinguisher but the fire was too strong I burnt my hand a little bit and when I attempted to get out the roof collapsed,” he said.

There were a few minor injuries among parishioners and first responders. Bishop Robert Brennan, who was at the scene, Monday says he’s grateful for the FDNY’s response.

“Thank God people are by and large safe and thank God for the fine people in our fire department, their courage and generosity and quick response, I can’t say enough,” Bishop Brennan said.

Though the rectory and parish center are destroyed it appears the church made it out of the fire with just a bit of smoke and water damage.

” God was protecting us,” said Mariluz. “There’s some meaning there for me.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation as officials continue to map out the next steps in starting renovations to the church.