Four-alarm fire rips through Townsend church rectory

Pastor at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church suffers burns from dealing with early-morning blaze

Heavy flames caused serious damage to the rectory at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Townsend overnight.
Heavy flames caused serious damage to the rectory at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Townsend overnight.
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TOWNSEND – A four-alarm fire tore through the rectory of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church overnight Monday.

Fire Chief Mark Boynton said at the scene that officials were called to the three-floor building at about 1:15 a.m. Members of the Townsend, Fitchburg and other fire departments spent four hours controlling and extinguishing the fire.

Boynton said the 100-year-old structure suffered serious fire and smoke damage, so much so that the building will likely have to be torn down.

Boynton added that Father Jeremy St. Martin, the pastor at St. John who was staying at the rectory, suffered burns to his hands and was treated at Nashoba Valley Medical Center before being released. Boynton said there were no other injuries from the fire.

This is a developing story.