4 alarm fire seriously damages northeast Baltimore church

A fire inside a northeast Baltimore church went to four alarms Friday morning and destroyed the building.

There were 100 firefighters and 30 pieces of equipment on hand to put out the fire at Northwood Appold United Methodist Church at Loch Raven Boulevard and Cold Spring Lane. Baltimore City fire crews were called out around 3:45 a.m. 

The fire went to four alarms, bringing 100 firefighters and 30 pieces of equipment to the scene to help quell the flames.

Neighbors and some parishioners looked on in disbelief.
Peggy Thomas lives in the area. "It's heartbreaking to see any church burn. It's heartbreaking," said Thomas.

The steeple and roof of the church were destroyed in the fire, and fire crews were working to save as much of the church as possible.

Once the fire was out, and the sun came up, the devastation became clearer. 
The church leader for the last 11 years, Dr. Cecil Gray surveyed the damage Friday afternoon. 
"It hurts. It's like a death. It's not a person but the church has so much meaning for all of us. The elders who have been here so long and the others us who are relatively new," said Gray.
The walls of the church still stand but the inside and roof are destroyed.
Seemingly untouched in the the midst of all the destruction is the cross atop the building's steeple. 
"The fire department, they say that they are going to bring the cross down carefully, keep that intact," said Gray.
This is the third church fire in the past month. The St. Paul's by-the-sea community in Ocean City came together after a losing their reverend in a fire in late November.
On Christmas Eve, members of Lazarus Church in Carroll County gathered in a fire hall to hold worship service. The 150 year old building they called home was torn apart by flames.
Pastor Gray says for it won't take his congregation long either and that they will begin rebuilding as soon as they can. 
"It's an incredibly committed congregation, resilient congregation, loving congregation. ... We're going to rebuild, there's no question about that," said Gray. 
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