WOONSOCKET, R.I. (CBS) – Father Anthony Perkins woke up to find his church, Saint Michael Ukrainian Parish on Harris Avenue engulfed in flames.

“It was already pretty big, coming through the roof over there, got up in the rafters and moved across,” Perkins said.

Woonsocket Fire Captain Michael Morin says the parish was holding a service the night before and using incense.

“They improperly disposed of the ashes,” Morin said.

Perkins and other church leaders have been busy comforting devastated parishioners who have been worshiping at St. Michael’s for decades.

Workers and firefighters tried to salvage as many of the church’s religious artifacts as they could.

Despite the fire, the congregation is thankful no one was hurt and now, they are vowing to rebuild.


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