Fire damages auditorium at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Toms River

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Photo provided by Ocean County Sheriff's Department.

TOMS RIVER, NJ – A fire was reported Tuesday at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Hooper Avenue in Toms River. The fire broke out while children were in attendance for pre-school services.

According to the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention, on Tuesday, the Silverton Fire Company was dispatched to the Holy Cross Lutheran Church located on Hooper Avenue for a reported fire alarm.

“The call was immediately upgraded to a structural fire. The fire was located in an auditorium building behind the church. All children and staff were safely evacuated from all of the buildings. The fire was upgraded to a 3rd alarm with fire apparatus from Silverton, Pleasant Plains, East Dover, Toms River No.1 and No.2, Island Heights, and Ocean Beach fire companies responding,” the TRBFP said in a statement today. “The fire was located in the area of the stage. The building is approximately 9,000 square feet. Firefighters initiated a quick interior attack on the fire with multiple hose lines. The fire was placed under control within 30 minutes from the time of the alarm. There were no injuries reported.”

“As the sun rises on a new day may we all rise to hope and trust in faith,” Holy Cross said in a statement after the fire. “Our Parish Center was severely damaged in yesterday’s fire but we are still church together.”

The fire is being investigated by the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention Inspector Kevin Britton and the Toms River Police Department Detective Ryan Parente.

Photo by Ocean County Sheriff’s Department.