Fire crews struggled to put out the fire at the oldest Greek Orthodox church in Melbourne, on the corner of Lansdowne St and Victoria Parade.
Mr Costas Papaconstantinou, a church commissioner who also owns a store nearby was the first to alert the fire brigate.
Fifteen vehicles arrived within minutes and firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze at 2.15pm.
“The oldest Greek church in Melbourne has been destroyed,” Mr Papaconstantinou told Neos Kosmos.
The cause of the fire at the Evangelismos church one day after Orthodox Easter celebrations is yet to be confirmed. The preliminary evidence indicates that the fire started from the interior of the church, and more specifically from the women’s quarters.
As vicar Cosmas Damianidis explained to Neos Kosmos, after the end of today’s service, parishioners complained “it smelled like something is burning”, however, at the time there were no signs of fire.
Victoria Parade remains closed as there is a lot of asbestos on the site. The Holy Church of Evengalismos (The Annunciation of Our Lady) is the second Greek Orthodox Church erected in Australia in 1901 after The Church of Holy Trinity in Sydney.
Meanwhile, a FYROM Orthodox Church in Rockdale Sydney was engulfed by flames on Sunday about 10pm during the Easter liturgy preparations and a Serbian Orthodox Church was burnt to the ground in New York.