Fire officials in Carteret are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a church in the city during the overnight hours.
The fire broke out at approximately 10:15 p.m. at the St. Mary's Ukrainian Church located in the 700 block of Roosevelt Avenue where firefighters arrived at the scene and found heavy smoke coming from the building.
Crews were able to make entry into the church where they found flames beginning to tear through the roof.
Fire officials in a statement reminded residents to avoid the area around St. Mary's throughout the night and early morning due to the fire investigation.
"We responded to St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church for a 3rd alarm structure fire. As numerous calls came in around 10 o'clock, we are still on scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time. Unfortunately, the church, that has been within the community for several years is a total loss. We would like to thank all the mutual aid fire departments that came to assist." officials said in a statement.
Firefighters gained control of the fire in about an hour from the start, and a check of the building indicated no trapped or injured occupants.