Two alarm fire damages ministry building, sends one to hospital with smoke inhalation

Published 10:22 am Sunday, January 1, 2023

An early Sunday morning two-alarm fire at the New Jerusalem Church Ministry sent one person to the hospital due to smoke inhalation.

Emergency Communications received a call at 4:18 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 1 of a commercial structure fire at the ministry, located in the 400 block of East Pinner Street. Suffolk Fire and Rescue units arrived on scene at 4:23 a.m.

According to a Fire and Rescue news release, Battalion 1 found heavy smoke and fire showing from the rear of the second floor of the two-story church.  The second floor of the church was occupied at the time of the fire and all occupants were out of the church when firefighters arrived.  

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An aggressive interior attack was initiated by Engine 3’s crew while Ladder 3 and Rescue 1’s crews performed a primary search of the church, officials said in the release  Crews isolated the fire to the second floor of the church. 

Two occupants were in the church at the time of the fire.  One person was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with smoke inhalation and has non-life threatening injuries. 

Firefighters placed the fire under control at 5:08 a.m. The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced occupants.  

Eighteen units from Fire and Rescue and the fire Marshal’s Office responded to the call, along with Suffolk Police. The Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire with Fire Marshal 7 leading the investigation.