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‘Miracle’ Still Stands After Fire Heavily Damages West Sacramento Church

WEST SACRAMENTO -- Constantine Baranoff lights up when he talks about his church in West Sacramento.

The altar he served at when he was just 8 years old is now destroyed.

"Investigators believe the fire originated somewhere in the altar," Baranoff said. "So that's where most of the damage appears to be."

A fire at West Sacramento's Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Myrrhbearing Women leaves nothing behind but a blackened mess.

"Devastating news that we lost the church," Baranoff said.

The West Sacramento Fire Department says the call on Water Street came in just after 8 a.m. No one was hurt but how the fire sparked is under investigation.

"Heartbreaking and hurtful to see this after all these years," Baranoff told FOX40.

The predominantly Russian church has a rich history. It was built back in 1925 and offered refuge to those who fled their homes.

"Began to arrive to this country after Russia was taken over by the communists," Baranoff said.

Looking through the charred remains seems hopeless but what survived the fire restores their faith.

"A miracle that there's three icons that suffered very little damage," Baranoff said. "The Virgin Mary in the front, Saint Nicholas on the left and Saint Bishop John of San Francisco."

That miracle will help members push through this dark time.

"We'll start cleaning up and decide how we're going to rebuild this church," Baranoff said.

A GoFundMe relief fund has been set up to help the church.