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Massive fire destroys historic church in East St. Louis

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EAST ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A massive fire destroyed a church in East St. Louis Saturday night.

FOX 2's Kelley Hoskins talked with residents who watched the neighborhood church burn to the ground. Firefighters were called back to the scene Sunday as Christ Redeemed Missionary Baptist Church continued to burn.

Multiple agencies were called to help battle the massive fire Saturday night  at 25th Street and Ridge Avenue in East St. Louis. The church was engulfed in flames and firefighters had to fight the fire from different angles.

Ortega Redd who lives right across the street from the church watched the church go up in flames.

”Just all of a sudden, it shot out this side of the church, went up the roof, that’s when the fireworks started,” said Redd

Redd says as a kid he would take tours of the neighborhood church and the place of worship has a long history in the community. It's a lot of memories there; it was like a shock to see it going up.

Residents say the congregation membership decreased over the years.   We are told around 25 church goers was supposed to have services this weekend.

The East St. Louis Fire chief says the cause of the is still under investigation.  The chief plans on calling the Illinois State Fire Marshall to help investigate.