Faithful Churchgoers Gather, Sing and Pray at Fire-Gutted Riverside Church

About 300 members of a Riverside church gathered at their fire-ravaged place of worship Sunday morning.

Firefighters put out the 3-alarm fire that gutted Living Word of Riverside church early Sunday morning, officials said.

The fire was reported just after 1 a.m. at the intersection of 11th and Cedar streets at the Living Word Church, Riverside Fire Chief Michael Moore said.

Living Word's congregation sang songs and prayed outside the historic, 1920-era church.

"It hurts to see it but we know that God has something bigger and better for us," Pastor Edgy Gallegos said.

Sunday services were being planned for a convention center, churchgoers said.

The fire began in the attic of the single-story church, Moore said.

Firefighters attacked the fire from the roof, but when the flames grew to be overwhelming, they backed off and upgraded the fire to three alarms, officials said.

No one was inside the church when the fire started, officials said.

The fire was put out just before 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Moore said. Firefighters were cleaning the church to prevent flare ups and attempting to salvage materials from inside.

Over 40 firefighters with more than 15 firefighting equiptments fought the blaze, officials said.

Fire investigators determined the fire was electrical.

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