Fire consumes NJ church on New Year’s day

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(Photo: RLS Metro Breaking News via Facebook)

(Photo: RLS Metro Breaking News via Facebook)

WEST ORANGE, N.J. – Flames tore through a historic New Jersey church Friday, gutting the place of worship as the new year began, fire officials said.

The three-alarm blaze broke out about 5 a.m. at the former St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Main Street in West Orange, officials said.

The original section of the brownstone church was built in 1827.  In 2004 St. Mark’s closed and the Trustees of the Diocese of Newark sold the property.

“We pray for all who have been affected by this tragic incident,”  Episcopal Diocese of Newark Director of Communications Nina Nicholson said in a statement.

What caused the blaze has not been determined. An investigation is underway.

PIX11 News’ Henry Naccari contributed to this report.