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Three-alarm fire hits Oakland church

OAKLAND — Firefighters were putting out a three-alarm blaze at a church on Sunday that sent flames and smoke rising over a North Oakland neighborhood, authorities said.

Just before 11 p.m., Oakland Fire Department coordinators received word of the blaze near the First African Methodist Episcopal Church building at 37th Street and Telegraph Avenue.

When firefighters first arrived, they found heavy smoke rising from a fire and set off the second and third alarms. There were no immediate reports of injuries or a cause of the fire.

That reports a California Digital Library online archive listthe building is home to East Bay’s first and oldest black church, which was founded in 1858 as Shiloh African Methodist Episcopal Church before later becoming Fifteenth Street Church.

“In 1949, the Reverend H. Solomon Hill became pastor, and in 1954 he led the congregation to a new meetinghouse at 3701 Telegraph Avenue, where it was renamed the First African Methodist Episcopal Church,” the filing listing reads in part. “Since then, the church has been renovated and improved numerous times, most notably surviving the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.”

Check back later for updates.

Check back later for updates.

Check Out:  One injured, dozens displaced in Oakland apartment fire – The Mercury News

Please contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.



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