When the Rev. Alfonso Wyatt heard there was a fire on the same block as his parents’ church, he thought about the portrait of his father hanging on the wall, and whether or not it had survived.
On Sunday night, January 27, a fire raged through several buildings on Northern Boulevard in East Elmhurst, including Friendship Church of Christ, founded by William and Mae Wyatt. While their church suffered only smoke and water damage, the nearby Church of God in Christ and several businesses including Lospinos Lounge and Sign Plaza of NY Inc. were destroyed.
“We’re thankful it was saved,” said Wyatt. “It will be a build back but we’re thankful. We will rebuild. We’ll continue to be a light in this community.”
According to the FDNY, the blaze began around 10 p.m. at 104-15 Northern Boulevard. Several units were dispatched to the four-alarm fire, which took nearly two hours to control. The buildings contained both stores and residences, officials said. No rescues were reported.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Wyatt, who said he was still in shock, said his thoughts were with the nearby church that wasn’t as lucky.
“Our hearts go out to our sister church,” he said. “They were burned to the ground.”