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Flatiron church fire may have been sparked by candles, FDNY says

Investigators believe a box of candles may have

Investigators believe a box of candles may have sparked the fire that tore through the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava on Sunday evening in the Flatiron District. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Investigators were focusing on a box of candles Tuesday they believe may have sparked the 4-alarm blaze that gutted a historic Flatiron church over the weekend.

While the investigation is not complete, an FDNY spokesman said the fire does not appear to be suspicious. Fire officials were looking into the possibility that a church caretaker had put a candle or candles that had not been fully extinguished into a box and placed that box under a table.

But the spokesman said investigators are waiting for the results from forensic tests.

The blaze turned the Gothic-style Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava on 25th Street into a shell of its former self. The fire, which following the Orthodox Easter services there, broke out at about 6:50 p.m. Sunday and took nearly three hours to be brought under control, according to the FDNY.

Five people suffered minor injuries, including four firefighters and one civilian who had minor injuries but refused medical treatment.

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