Pastor hurt after fire breaks out at Syrian church in Denver

DENVER -- One man was transported to the hospital after a fire broke out at a Syrian church in Denver on Wednesday.

Members of St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church at 3410 W. Walsh Place said the pastor was the only one inside of the building at the time the fire broke out.

Fire officials said there is very extensive damage inside the church.

Members of the congregation were devastated as they first saw their place of worship destroyed by the fire.

"All of our family has invested so much of ourselves, our spirituality, monetarily, we have invested so much into this church," Jijo Mattamana said. "Being such a small congregation, one dollar goes a long way, and we are just very devastated this happened to our church right before Easter."

Mattamana said Easter is one of the biggest celebrations of the year at the church, and now the congregation doesn't know what do do.

"Only a couple days out, we had evening prayer scheduled for (Wednesday night) and obviously that is not going to happen," he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but investigators do not suspect foul play.

A church member said they started the church with their own money.

GoFundMe page was set up to help pay for the damages.