Longtime Pastor Seriously Burned in NJ Church Rectory Fire

Two other priests were injured in the blaze.

Saturday, Mar 10, 2012  |  Updated 3:19 PM EDT
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Pastor Seriously Burned in NJ Church Rectory Fire

NBC Local Media

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The longtime pastor of a Roman Catholic church in northern New Jersey was seriously burned in a fire at the church rectory.

 
Officials tell The Record that the Rev. James Reilly had burns over 40 percent of his body and was hospitalized in critical condition. Two adjunct priests who also live in the St. Michael's Church rectory in Palisades Park weren't injured in the blaze, which started around 1 a.m. Saturday.
 
Officials say Reilly, who is in his early 70s and has health issues, was sleeping when the fire started.
 
Another priest heard the fire alarm and ran to Reilly's room to get him out. But the door was locked, so he called 911 and got the third priest to safety.
 
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
 
 
 

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