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    Historic Wooden Church Engulfed in Flames!

    In the early hours of Sunday, before the first mass, a fire broke out at the historic wooden Church of St. Helena in Nowy Sącz. The flames were noticed shortly after 5 a.m., and despite the quick response from firefighters, the chancel of the church was completely charred.

    “The fire spread in the space between the roofing and the insulation under the roof, which consisted of sawdust. The fire spread very quickly. Firefighters are dismantling the cladding that covers the wooden structure of the walls and dousing the smoldering sawdust insulation with water,” said Paweł Motyka, spokesman for the Nowy Sącz fire brigade, in a statement to the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

    Tragically, the fire destroyed the chancel of the church. However, firefighters managed to save several historic artifacts from the waterlogged interior, including antique paintings, the tabernacle containing the Blessed Sacrament, the main altar, two side altars, and various other artworks dating back to the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

    The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the police.

    The Church of St. Helena, built in 1686, features a wooden log structure and was funded by Helena Marchocka, the abbess of the Poor Clares Monastery in Stary Sącz. It is believed that elements from a previous church, destroyed during the Swedish invasion in 1608, were used in its construction.

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