LAWRENCE (CBS) — A Lawrence church built in the 1900s was damaged by flames Wednesday morning.

Fire crews were called to the Christ Is Coming Church on Lowell Street around 7 a.m.

Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty told WBZ-TV’s Nicole Jacobs that nobody was inside the church when it began, and there were no injuries.

He said the age of the building–as well as the fact that the doors were locked–slowed crews down.

“The centerstone [was laid in] the 1900s,” Chief Moriarty said. “It’s a very old building, very dry. Different construction methods back then as well.”

Moriarty also said the gas meter was in the building’s basement, preventing firefighters from turning it off.

Nearby homes were evacuated, as crews were afraid the flames might spread.

The Lawrence Police Department said Lowell Street between Winter and Morton Streets was closed, and asked the public to find alternate routes.

The cause of the fire was not yet known, but Chief Moriarty said it did not appear to be suspicious in nature.


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