On Saturday, a massive fire caused by a gas leak broke out at the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Archangel Michael, Martyr Abu Sefein, and St. Karas in Assiut’s Dairut City in Upper Egypt. The church, which was made of wood, and all its annexes were entirely destroyed in the fire. The tragic incident caused great sadness to the Christian community in Egypt, and many people have been wondering how such an unfortunate event could happen.
The Cause of the Fire
According to the statement released by the Sanabu and Dairut Diocese, the fire started at around 4 am due to a gas leak from a butane cylinder used in preparing the sacrament. It was an accidental incident, and no one was hurt, nor was there any damage to the houses or schools around the church.
Efforts to Control the Fire
As soon as the fire broke out, civil protection units, ambulances, and security authorities were immediately dispatched to the scene. The fire was brought under control, and the diocese praised the efforts made by the citizens and neighbors of the church to put out the fire.
Egypt’s Recent Fire Incidents
Egypt has been facing numerous fire incidents in recent years. According to data released by the official statistical agency CAPMAS, there were 49,341 incidents of fire in Egypt in 2022, causing the death of 203 people and injuring 855 others. This is a concerning issue that needs to be addressed urgently to prevent further loss of life and property.
The Impact of the Fire on the Local Community
The church, located in Dairut city in Upper Egypt, was a significant landmark and a source of spiritual and cultural significance for the local community. Its destruction is a great loss for the Coptic Christian community and the city as a whole.
The church was a place of worship, but it was also a community center where people came together for social and cultural events. The church was particularly important during Christmas and Easter celebrations when people from the city and neighboring villages would gather for services.
The Community’s Response
The fire at the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Archangel Michael, Martyr Abu Sefein, and St. Karas has brought together people of different faiths and backgrounds to support the Christian community in Egypt. The Muslim community in Dairut city showed solidarity by offering their help and support to the affected families. It is a heartwarming example of how tragedy can bring people together and promote unity and peace.
While the response to the fire was swift, it highlights the need for better safety measures and awareness campaigns to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. It is our hope that the church will be rebuilt soon and that the local community will continue to thrive.