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Fire badly damages decades-old Ukrainian church

Posted: Updated:
CARTERET -

A late-night fire badly damaged a decades-old Ukrainian Catholic church in Middlesex County.

The fire at Saint Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church on Roosevelt Avenue in Carteret has been in the community for over 60 years. Fire officials say that the fire started around 11 p.m. Tuesday in the back of the building.

“Unfortunately with this, the fire was burning for quite some time before it broke out and people noticed it,” says Carteret Fire Chief Mark Hruska. “We were faced with considerable damage before the alarm even went in.”

Church parishioners say that although the church’s population has dwindled, they considered it to be a second home.

“Our parish is right now very small, less than half of what it used to be,” says Stefania Hluszcyk. “It’s going to be a tough journey.”

Fire officials say that the fire does not appear to be suspicious. A cause has not yet been determined.

Officials say that the inside of the church will have to be gutted, but they say that the outside of the building appears as if it will be salvageable.

“It means everything because there’s not too many of us left anymore and so it binds us together,” says parishioner Lydia Singura.

Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman says that donations to help support the church will be accepted at the Carteret Business Partnership.

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