FLORENCE TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- A task force of county, state and ATF officials will investigate what caused a massive 8-alarm fire at a New Jersey church.
The daylight revealed the extent of damage to the Fountain of Life Center located on the 2000 block of Columbus Road in Florence Township.
The view from Chopper 6 Tuesday morning showed a burned-out shell was all that was left from the raging flames.
The fire broke out around 6 p.m. Monday.
Officials tell Action News that kids were playing basketball in the rear of the church when they reported seeing smoke. It didn't take long before the building was completely engulfed in flames.
According to Robert Tharp, the fire district administrator for the Florence Township Fire Department, more than 150 firefighters from across South Jersey and Pennsylvania helped fight the flames and supply water.
The fire was under control by 11 p.m.
"It's incredibly tragic. This is my entire life and the community here really means everything to me," said Pastor Matthew Boudwin.
Officials with the church are planning to hold Sunday services in a recreation area of the property that was spared by the flames.
A K-12 school next door was also not damaged, but classes have been canceled for the rest of the week.
"Even though this building could not be saved, they've done everything they can to save our school building, which is attached through a link to the church," added Russ Hodgins, the lead pastor.
"We have a plan forthcoming that will definitely be in place for this weekend," added Boudwin.
On any given Sunday, about 1,000 people show up to worship at the Fountain of Life Center.
Church leaders say they'll be putting out more information in the coming days on their social media channels about services and activities going forward.
Getting water to the rural location was a challenge.
Fire officials say while the building was up to code with smoke alarms and fire suppression, this fire was a tough one to fight.
"Mezzanines, balconies, interconnected classrooms. So the fire had everything that it needed," said Tharp.
Burlington County officials say this is the county's largest fire emergency since 2013 when an 11-alarm blaze engulfed the Dietz and Watson plant in Delanco.
No injuries were reported.
Officials believe the blaze may have started in the sanctuary of the church.