A Newark firefighter suffered second degree burns fighting a fire in the rectory of a historic church after police noticed smoke coming from the building.

Newark Police Officers Thomas Johnson and Veronica Rivera were patrolling near 7th Avenue when they noticed smoke coming from the rectory at St. Lucy’s Church at around 2:35 p.m. Monday, said Brian A. O’Hara, director of public safety for Newark.

Fire in the St. Lucia Church

Newark PD

The officers contacted the fire department and Johnson entered the building and evacuated 10 people.

The fire department discovered a fire in a sun terrace at the rear of the building that extended to the second floor and the roof of the building.

A second alarm was triggered at 2:50 p.m. and around 70 firefighters were on duty.

The injured firefighter was transported to St. Barnabas Medical Center for burns to his ears and neck.

No other injuries were reported.

At 3:26 p.m., the fire was considered under control. Two priests who live in the rectory have been relocated.

St. Lucy’s was built in 1925 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

The cause and origin of this fire are being investigated by the Arson Unit of the Department of Public Safety.

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