Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Out of the ashes. A Baltimore City church struggles to rebuild after a fire ripped through their building.
Jessica Kartalija reports the investigation into how the fire started continues.
Hours before Sunday service, flames ripped through the Greater Paradise Christian Center on the corner of East Oliver and North Potomac.
“Now, two weeks later, it’s time to rebuild, get focused and let’s get back in here and make it happen,” said Pastor Shawn Bell.
Bell says the sanctuary and executive offices are destroyed. A hair salon and cafe set to open this fall have severe smoke damage. Thankfully, no one was injured during the fire, which began at 4 a.m. on June 26.
“We, as a people, need not only to be focused but as a community, we need to watch out for each other. But it tells them through tragedy, God will give us victory,” Bell said.
Bell says the investigation is ongoing. It’s unclear as to whether this was an electrical fire or arson.
Contractors say it could be eight months before the business is restored. Services are being held temporarily at Fort Worthington Elementary.
“Let’s rebuild out of ashes. Let’s not cry in this but let us stand up and be the church God wants us to be in this community,” Bell said.
A special fundraiser to help the church rebuild will take place Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Bethel AME Church. All donations can be made through Sun Trust Bank.
Church services will continue at Fort Worthington Elementary School while the church is rebuilt.