Early morning blaze breaks out in church building

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Church of the Harvest Pastor Mike Troiano discovered the fire early Tuesday morning.

Fire sparked inside a building at a Riverhead church early Tuesday, authorites said.

Smoke was pouring out of the building when Riverhead firefighters arrived to the Church of the Harvest property at 582 Raynor Ave. just after midnight, said Riverhead Fire Chief Nicholas Luparella, and flames were searing the north side of the structure.

About 30 firefighters were able to contain the blaze and limit serious damage to the porch area and kitchen.

The pastor, the Rev. Mike Troiano, discovered the blaze about midnight when he drove by the church on an errand, he told the News-Review.

As soon as he opened the door, he said, the heat and smoke drove him back. He said the fire, which melted an in-wall air conditioner, was probably electrical.

The building was remodeled just two years ago, he said.

The pastor added he was able to salvage church records from a computer and file cabinet.

Possibly because of the firefighters’ water usage, the tap water in at least one household on nearby Marcy Avenue was reported to have turned brown later Tuesday morning, fire officials said. No serious injuries were reported.

vch[email protected]

With staff photographer Barbaraellen Koch.

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