In a follow-up report about the multiple alarm fire that destroyed the main building at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah in Central Islip, investigators conclude that an electrical fire started the blaze.

The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano, Bishop of Long Island, said, “the building sustained catastrophic damage from fire, heat, and water.” But, he added, “the church members are the church. Buildings can be replaced.”

Fr. Juan Reyes, priest-in-charge, and warden Sandra Townsend helped direct the removal of any objects that were salvageable. Fr. Juan will also make plans with parish leadership and the bishop’s office about where to hold worship services temporarily. For the immediate future, the congregation will worship on Sundays in the parish hall, which was not affected by the fire.

Neighboring Episcopal parishes and those from other denominations have generously offered space for worship and other assistance.

Bishop Provenzano said, “We are profoundly grateful for the prayers and offers of support from the neighboring community and across the diocese. We are grateful to the Central Islip Fire Department for its quick response. To lose a historic church building is always painful to witness. In time, with God’s help, we will rebuild the worship space we lost. Please continue to pray for all those affected.”