Firefighters battle raging church fire in Raleigh

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Firefighters battled a raging fire at a Raleigh church early Wednesday morning.

Around 2:45 a.m., fire crews were called to the 2500 block of Sanderford Road off Rock Quarry Road. When they arrived, large flames were seen shooting out of Gethsemane Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Images from the scene showed the roof to part of the single-story brick church was completely destroyed.

It took about 50 firefighters over an hour to extinguish the blaze at the church's fellowship hall. At least two of them were injured while battling the flames - one due to a fall and another due to chest pains.

As news of the fire spread, near-by church members gathered to get a glimpse of the damage.

"It's sad that this is happening to us as we come up to our 100th anniversary," parishioner Laverne Gadsden said. "For those that are here with us, it's because we love our church ... it's part of this community."

Church members said they still want to hold a Wednesday night prayer service tonight, despite news that about 80 percent of the building was damaged.

Officials have ruled the fire accidental, caused by someone using a torch to solder pipes.

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