In the wake of the tragic fire that killed 41 worshippers at a packed Coptic Orthodox church Sunday, Aug. 14, in Egypt, the Middle East/Africa North Area presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a statement of condolences.
“We are saddened by the heartbreaking fire at the Coptic Abu Sifin church in Giza, Egypt,” wrote Elder Anthony D. Perkins, area president, and his counselors, Elder Alvin F. Meredith III and Elder Roland J. Bäck, in a statement shared on the Church’s Middle East Newsroom.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and join with friends around the world to pray that everyone impacted by this tragedy will be blessed with comfort.”
Believed to be caused by an electrical short circuit, the fire swept through the four-story building during Sunday morning services, filling the church with thick black smoke and intense flames, according to news reports. The 41 deaths included 15 children; 16 more people were injured, including four police officers involved in rescue efforts.