Investigators working to determine cause of Flatiron District church fire

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Shirleen Allicot is live in the Flatiron District with the latest (Kathy Willens)

While investigators try to figure out what caused a church in the Flatiron District to go up in flames, the Buildings Department has determined that the structure is stable, with no danger of collapsing.

Broadway remains closed Monday between 25th and 26th Streets, and West 25th Street is shut down between Broadway and 6th Avenue.

For Mila Milosevic and her husband, her beloved Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava, now a charred shell, can only be described as a nightmare. They were here on Sunday along with hundreds of others, celebrating Easter services, lighting the candles, and taking in the beautiful stained glass.

"It was so special to have one where you hear your language," Milosevic says.

"It was a connection to the culture - very few of those in this city," said another parishioner, Joe Whelski.

On Sunday evening, fire engulfed the 19th century house of worship. Flames were so powerful that firefighters had to work from a safe distance to douse them. On Monday, the only thing that remained of St. Sava was the stone foundation, and surprisingly a statue of brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla along with flags that were completely untouched.

"It's a testament to the architecture of the time - the outer walls are still there, just the wood burnt," said David Bias.

Bias works right across the street from the cathedral, and just stood there in complete awe of what was once a mainstay on the block, and in the community.

"My office looks right on it, and it's been a great sight for a long time, and now it's a ruin," Bias adds.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries.
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