St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona, USA was destroyed in a fire early Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The church had almost made its 50th anniversary of establishment as a Roman Catholic parish. The fire occurred on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, to whom the church is dedicated.
The entire building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived around midnight. Over 60 firefighters were called to stop the fire.
There were no people injured by the fire and the cause is being investigated.
Fr. Reggie Carreon, the pastor, wanted to rescue items from the church but was told, 'Father, don't go, you'll die,'" Carreon explained, "They told us, 'Father you cannot do anything anymore, it's too late,'"
"Inside the church, I think we lost everything there except the walls," Carreon said. "I'm going to shed a lot of tears."
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix issued the following statement about the fire:
"This morning we awoke to the tragic news of the fire at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Phoenix. The Phoenix Fire Department is investigating the fire. The church building was destroyed and there were no injuries. We will have more to share as it becomes available.
We are heartbroken for the St. Joseph Catholic community and we are grateful for the bravery of the fire fighters and first responders.
There are tentative plans to celebrate Masses somewhere on the church property this weekend.
Today on this feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, we ask the community to join us in prayer."
St. Joseph's was established as a Catholic parish on Aug. 18, 1969, according to its website. Sunday Masses were first held in the cafeteria of Paradise Valley High School for about 300 families.
Ground broke for a new church on a 10-acre site on Jan. 23, 1972, with seating for 500. The campus eventually added a parish hall, meeting rooms, library and adjacent chapel.
Edited from Source: azcentral.com