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Priest taken to hospital after fire breaks out in Monroeville church rectory

MONROEVILLE, Pa. — An investigation is underway in Monroeville after fire tore through the rectory of the Christ the Divine Shepherd Parish early Thursday morning. The rectory is the home where the parish priests live.

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“I’m shocked,” Charlie Pina told Channel 11′s Andrew Havranek after hearing about the fire.

Many parishioners shared that feeling as they made their way into St. Suzanna’s church. That church is a part of the Christ the Divine Shepherd Parish.

“Our priest is loved by all of the parishioners. This is a tragic thing because fires just do something psychologically to you, so I would think he’s not feeling really good at this time,” added David Scott, another parishioner.

After the sun came up, it was clear just how much damage was left behind by the fire.

Channel 11 could see massive holes in the roof and the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh tells Channel 11 there is water damage throughout the rectory.

A priest was taken to the hospital for evaluation after the fire for smoke inhalation. He was released a short time later with no serious injuries. It’s something parishioners are thanking God for.

“He is certainly walking every step of the way with us,” Scott said.

“I’m very thankful,” Pina added. “The loss of a life is precious, and there’s not many priests as it is, so to have one that’s even, that may have been hurt or slightly hurt is disturbing.”

In a statement, the diocese agreed, saying, “We are so grateful to the first responders, and we thank God nobody was seriously injured.”

“We’ll take this in stride and move on,” Scott added.

The Allegheny County Fire Marshals are investigating to find out what exactly caused this fire.

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