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Crews battle church blaze

HUBBARD — Crews from several fire departments were called Monday evening to control a fire at St. Patrick Parish on North Main Street.

Mayor Ben Kyle, a member of the parish, said he went to the scene where other people were watching from the sidewalks as fire crews went into the back of the building. Smoke was seen coming from the building.

A 911 report indicates the Hubbard Eagle Joint Fire District responded to a 5:45 p.m call of a structure fire at the church. Smoke was coming from the basement area, an all-purpose room where dinners and events are held. There is a kitchen and boiler in the basement.

Kyle said he did not see any exterior damage but was told the building had smoke damage.

“This is devastating for our community. This church is a pillar of our community. Many people in the local area attend church here,” he said.

Kyle said the Hubbard Police Department was first at the scene, with two officers reporting they saw heavy smoke coming from the back of the building.

Kyle said he spoke with the Rev. Michael Swierz, church pastor, who said no one was in the church building because of the holiday. Masses were held Sunday at the church.

Swierz was in another church building when the fire began.

“There were hundreds of people along the sidewalks across the street watching,” he said.

Fire crews were working to cut through the roof to get to the fire.

A resident who lives nearby said police and multiple fire trucks blocked the street. Crews from Liberty, Brookfield, Vienna, and Coitsville amoung others were called, according to the 911 report.

Kyle said when he spoke to fire officials, the fire cause was not known.

“I was told the fire was under control quickly by the fire crews,” he said.

Monsignsor John Zuraw, Diocese of Youngstown chancellor, said late Monday he had not received word yet indicating what had happened at the church but noted diocesan officials were at the scene.

The new Bishop David Bonnar and the Rev. Robert Siffrin, diocesan administrator, were at the church, too, to provide support to Swierz. Kyle said Bonnar told him that no one was hurt.

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