SAN JOSE (KCBS) -- Parishioners of a San Jose Catholic church destroyed by a huge fire Sunday are calling it a miracle that both the church's crucifix and Virgin Mary statue both somehow survived the inferno relatively unscathed.
The ornate crucifix of Holy Cross Catholic Church appeared to not even have any soot or singe marks, even as the rest of the church's interior was in ruins. The beloved Mary statue, the Virgin of Guadalupe, was also intact.
Devastated parishioners were elated after the discovery, saying it was a sign from above.
"It's like a miracle to give us hope that it's still there and we can rebuild," said Cecilia Rodriguez.
Fire crews remained at the scene Monday of a four-alarm fire that destroyed the church and said the walls of the nearly 100-year-old building were in danger of collapsing. Firefighters sprayed water on the still smoldering church and kept pedestrians back for their own safety.
Investigators said the fire at the church, built just after World War I, has been determined to not be suspicious.
The fire devastated many of those who have called it their spiritual home. One parishioner, Michael Aliki said he went to the 11 a.m. mass on Sunday just hours before the church broke out in flames.
"It's still unbelievable. I still have no words to explain what happened to our home, our church, our place of worship," he said.
Nearly 100-Year-Old San Jose Church Burns; Parishioners Call It A Miracle When Crucifix Survives
The blaze started just after the 1 p.m. Italian mass. San Jose Fire Captain Reggie Williams said flames were first spotted in the choir loft, which houses the church's electric organ.
"We know that the organ may have been used and I'm going to have to verify that with the father. It may have been used in the mass an hour prior to the fire starting," he said.
Aliki agreed that church goers vowed to rebuild. "We're Catholic strong and we're going to rebuild," he said.
In the meantime, the church will continue to hold mass in a nearby hall.
One firefighter was treated for a medical emergency, but otherwise, no one was injured.
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