Fire in the Middle Collegiate Church (screenshot)
The flames hit far into the sky, dozens of fire engines are standing in front of the building - this is how it can be seen on video recordings: A huge fire largely destroyed a historic church in New York's East Village early on Saturday morning (local time).
Recordings from TV station ABC show how flames completely envelop the roof of the Middle Collegiate Church.
According to the New York Fire Department, the fire broke out around five in the morning on the first floor of an empty building in the neighborhood and then spread to the church.
"It's looking very bad, unfortunately," Rev. Amanda Ashcraft told ABC.
"The altar is badly damaged, our painted Tiffany windows are lost."
Almost 200 firefighters were on duty.
It took them more than three hours to get the flames under control.
There are no reports of injuries so far.
The cause of the fire was initially unclear.
The 19th century Middle Collegiate Church has around 1,300 members.
The roots of the Protestant community go back to the early 17th century.
It is one of the oldest in America.
Icon: The mirror
kha / dpa