Fire Closes Church

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HAZLETON --- Fire forced a church in Hazleton to cancel Sunday services for at least a few weeks.

Today church members are saddened seeing the damage.

Firefighters moved in and quickly put out flames at the Mount Zion Christian Church in downtown Hazleton.

We got a look at where officials say the fire got it's start, the basement kitchen.  Investigators believe food left on a stove sparked the mess. As you can see, soot covers the ceiling.

Reverend Manuel Nieves said he was had no other choice but close the house of worship.

"Emotionally I was devastated and I was a little stressed but I know we can pull through but we can have services in a week or two ."

Church member, Edgar Leon said he had just left services when he learned about the blaze.

"I was scared I was pretty scared about it, kind of sad but I knew we were going to pull through."

Another church member, Erica Borrero said the Latino christian church is important to many people.

"It's a home for us, it`s a place for people that need uplifting, it`s a home for people that never had one, it`s a home for all of us ."

Edgar Gonzalez has been attending the church for years. He's glad firefighters stopped the flames from getting into the main section were services are held.

"God is with this church it could have been a lot worse and I thank God for his mercy ."

The business community is thankful to Hazelton firefighters because if the flames had spread it could have burned  other businesses.