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Πυρκαγιά κατέστρεψε ολοσχερώς το ναό του Αγίου Ραφαήλ στη Φλόριδα
Bay News 9
Tampa Bay Times
STS RAPHAEL, NICHOLAS & IRENE
HELLENIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
1010 Riviere Road,
Palm Harbor, FL 34683
President of the Parish Council
Hagiographos Elias Damianakis Archon Maestor
President of the Ladies Phioptochos Society
Mrs Erine Koulianos
Fire Destroys Church
Palm Harbor Fire Rescue battled a blaze at the Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene Hellenic Orthodox Church Tuesday morning (September 23, 2014). According to churchgoers, the fire was in the middle and back of the church near the office and kitchen. No one was in the building during the fire.
Around 3:30 a.m. Carol Dyer discovered the smoke. She was delivering the newspapers and went a different route than normal.
"It was God. I can't take credit," Dyer said. "I just wasn't at peace going the other way and I came down Tamarron Road which I only normally do on Sundays. I saw the smoke and wasn't sure if it was fog so I drove around back, realized it was a fire and called 911."
The Parish President Archon Elias Damianakis is thankful no one was seriously injured. "We are praying for the brave fireman who as first responders put their lives on the line to save what is most precious to Orthodox Christians" he emphasized "the relics weren't damaged. He says the church has relics only found in Greece and that people come from all over the country to see them. The relics are unharmed beyond smoke damage, the sanctuary on the other hand will have to be completely demolished as will the fellowship area, Sunday school and administrative facilities, its quite emotional for us".
"In a show of resilience, the community set up a tent on the church property, just feet away from the charred ruins of the building that was damaged, and held a Divine Liturgy last Sunday." -Pappas Post
Photos courtesy of Yianni Giannopoulos, Angela and Elias Damianakis
Grief Counselor On Hand After the Fire to Help Those in Shock: onsite, by phone, or privately.
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