Firefighters battled a heavy four-alarm fire that tore through the rectory of a church in Lawrence on Monday night.
The fire broke out around 6:20 p.m. in the rectory of the Corpus Christi Parish at Holy Rosary Church on 35 Essex St., according to the Lawrence Fire Department. The fire started on the second floor and reached the building’s rear where the living quarters of the church’s pastor, the Rev. Francis Mawn, are located, according to parish council member Raymond DiFiore.
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DiFiore, who was at the scene, said Mawn was the only person inside. Mawn made it safely out without any injuries and will be staying at one of the parishioners’ homes, DiFiore said.
The rectory is attached to the church with staircases, and it appears the main part of the church did not suffer any fire damage, DiFiore said.
“There were a couple of common areas in the lower part of the church — that’s what they were concerned about. But it appears that they were able to stop it at the firewall,” he said.
DiFiore said he did not know how the fire started. Fire officials haven’t released a cause.
Firefighters from several surrounding communities, including Billerica, Reading, Lowell, and Danvers, helped with the response.
Photos from the scene showed crews using ladder hoses as large flames ripped through the roof.
Shortly after 8 p.m., Lawrence Police tweeted that they were assisting with traffic in the area while the fire department battled the working fire.
The fire was out as of 9:30 p.m, the department said.