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Riverside Church Collapses In Massive Fire

RIVERSIDE ( — Firefighters contained a structure fire on Sunday that erupted inside of a church.

According to the Riverside Fire Department, crews were sent around 1:08 a.m. to the Living Word Church, located in the area of 11th Street and Cedar Street, for report of a structure fire.

Once on scene, firefighters worked to extinguish massive flames that extended through the roof and walls in the house of worship. It was so hot that the church's stained glass windows melted.

Riverside Fire Department Capt. Tim Odebralski explained to KCAL9's Joy Benedict that his crews had to leave the building for safety, as flames rolled through the roof above them.

"When the actual fire is in the roof it's real dangerous," said Odebralski. "The structural integrity of the whole building is compromised, and it's real dangerous to have fire above you while you're underneath."

Investigators said they believe this is a total loss due to extensive fire damage of the collapsed building.

No injuries were reported.

Church members arrived Sunday morning to create their own form of worship, as they would not be able to attend Sunday services inside the church.

They gathered on 11th Street to sing, pray and remember.

Firefighters determined the cause of the fire to be accidental, which stated due to an electrical problem.

The church pastor, Edgy Gallegos, told Benedict they have insurance, and plan to rebuild the house of worship soon.

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