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Demetra Scutates of East Meadow sheds a tear (Credit: Steve Pfost)

Demetra Scutates of East Meadow sheds a tear as parishioners of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick celebrate Mass in their parking lot after a fire severely damaged the church Friday night. (Aug. 11, 2013)

Fire damages St. Demetrios Church in Merrick

A fire that engulfed St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick on the night of Aug. 9 was caused by a lit candle, authorities said. The blaze destroyed the church's main entrance and a second-story choir loft, while water and smoke damaged the sanctuary.

Demetra Scutates of East Meadow sheds a tear
(Credit: Steve Pfost)

Demetra Scutates of East Meadow sheds a tear as parishioners of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick celebrate Mass in their parking lot after a fire severely damaged the church Friday night. (Aug. 11, 2013)

Parish pastor the Rev. Nikiforos Fakinos speaks to
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

Parish pastor the Rev. Nikiforos Fakinos speaks to parishioners of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick as they celebrate Mass in their parking lot after a fire severely damaged the church. (Aug. 11, 2013)

The Rev. Nikiforos Fakinos, pastor at St. Demetrios
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

The Rev. Nikiforos Fakinos, pastor at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick, walks from the church building during a Mass being held in a parking lot. The building was damaged in a fire. (Aug. 11, 2013)

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Sophia Pappas, left, of Merrick and her mother,
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

Sophia Pappas, left, of Merrick and her mother, Mandy, right, of Merrick, shed tears as parishioners of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick celebrate Sunday Mass in their parking lot after a fire damaged the church Friday night. (Aug. 11, 2013)

The Rev. Nikiforos Fakinos says Mass in the
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

The Rev. Nikiforos Fakinos says Mass in the parking lot of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick. The church building was severely damaged by a fire two days earlier. (Aug. 11, 2013)

Athena Mountanos of Bellmore kisses a damaged painting
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

Athena Mountanos of Bellmore kisses a damaged painting of St. Nicephorus which survived the fire at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick. (Aug. 11, 2013)

Parishioners light candles in the parking lot of
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

Parishioners light candles in the parking lot of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick where Sunday Mass was celebrated. (Aug. 11, 2013)

George Karadakis, left, of Bellmore and Andreas Pavlou
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

George Karadakis, left, of Bellmore and Andreas Pavlou of Seaford set up a painting of a saint inside a tent in a parking lot where St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church parishioners celebrated Sunday Mass. The Merrick church was damaged in a fire Friday. (Aug. 11, 2013)

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Paraskevas Xenophontos of Massapequa kisses a photo of
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

Paraskevas Xenophontos of Massapequa kisses a photo of a saint on display outside fire-damaged St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick. (Aug. 11, 2013)

George Karadakis, left, of Bellmore and Andreas Pavlou
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

George Karadakis, left, of Bellmore and Andreas Pavlou of Seaford set up a painting of a saint inside the tent where parishioners of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick celebrated Sunday Mass. The church building was damaged in a fire. (Aug. 11, 2013)

Congregants hug Father Nikiforos Fakinos outside St. Demetrios
(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Congregants hug Father Nikiforos Fakinos outside St. Demetrios Greek Orthrodox Church in Merrick on Saturday, a day after a fire at the church ruined the main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft. (Aug. 10, 2013)

Congregants gather in shock outside St. Demetrios Greek
(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Congregants gather in shock outside St. Demetrios Greek Orthrodox Church in Merrick on Saturday. The church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft were ruined in a fire Friday night. (Aug. 10, 2013)

Maria Pertsinites, left, and Cynthia Goldring react outside
(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Maria Pertsinites, left, and Cynthia Goldring react outside St. Demetrios Greek Orthrodox Church in Merrick on Saturday. The church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft were ruined in a fire Friday night. (Aug. 10, 2013)

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Patty Lafkas, far right, her son John and
(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Patty Lafkas, far right, her son John and Sofia Halikias, in blue, survey the fire-damaged St. Demetrios Greek Orthrodox Church in Merrick on Saturday. The church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft were ruined in a fire Friday night. (Aug. 10, 2013)

Congregants at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in
(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Congregants at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick set up chairs outside the church in preparation for Sunday services after a fire there ruined rhe church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft. (Aug. 10, 2013)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek
(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick was caused by a lit candle, resulting in damage to the church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft, authorities said. (Aug. 10, 2013)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek
(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick was caused by a lit candle, resulting in damage to the church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft, authorities said. (Aug. 10, 2013)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek
(Credit: Bill Kelly)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick was caused by a lit candle, authorities said. Firefighters were able to save several items despite damage to the church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft. (Aug. 9, 2013)

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A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek
(Credit: Bill Kelly)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick was caused by a lit candle, resulting in damage to the church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft, authorities said. (Aug. 9, 2013)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek
(Credit: Bill Kelly)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick was caused by a lit candle, authorities said. Firefighters were able to save several items despite damage to the church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft. (Aug. 9, 2013)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek
(Credit: Jack Healy)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick was caused by a lit candle, resulting in damage to the church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft, authorities said. At least 75 firefighters from eight fire departments responded to the blaze. (Aug. 9, 2013)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek
(Credit: Bill Kelly)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick was caused by a lit candle, resulting in damage to the church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft, authorities said. (Aug. 9, 2013)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek
(Credit: Paul Mazza)

A fire Friday night at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Merrick was caused by a lit candle, resulting in damage to the church's main hallway, its sanctuary and a second-story choir loft, authorities said. At least 75 firefighters from eight fire departments responded to the blaze. (Aug. 9, 2013)

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