MINNEAPOLIS -- Fire officials say five firefighters were injured battling a fire in south Minneapolis Sunday night.
Authorities say the Walker Community United Methodist Church located on the 3100 block of 16th Avenue South caught fire around 8 p.m.
Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours and crews began to clear out around 10:30 p.m.
The injured firefighters were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Three firefighters were released from the hospital with first degree burns but two firefighters with first and second degree burns will require additional treatment.
One of the injured who remains in the hospital is a veteran female firefighter. Firefighters on the scene told KARE 11 she suffered serious burns.
Crews began tearing down the church Monday morning.
Authorities do not know the exact cause of the fire but say lightning is a possibility. They believe the fire started in the attic of the church.
Pastor Walker Lockhart said he got to the church around 9 p.m. and saw just a flicker of fire in the corner. He said it began to burn quickly soon after.
"I got to watch it burn all the way down to the ground," he said.
The church usually hosts a free community dinner the last Monday of each month. Lockhart said they will still host a dinner Monday even though they do not have a church anymore. He said they will grill outside of the charred building.
The congregation will also hold a meeting at Living Spirit United Methodist Church Monday morning to talk about where they go from here.
The church is in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of south Minneapolis. It had about 150 members.
The church began in 1886 about two blocks from its current location. As the area grew, the congregation began looking for a new home. The members opened the current building in 1910.
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