By Jessica MacAulay, Chase Morrison, Ryan Hughes

WEST DEPTFORD, New Jersey (KYW) – A man was arrested Saturday morning in connection with a fire that broke out at Colonial Manor United Methodist Church in West Deptford, police said.

Brian Cannon, 44, was charged with three counts of arson and is currently being held at the Salem County Correctional Facility as he awaits a detention hearing, police said.

“It breaks my heart. I still come here once a week to play the piano for them,” said Donna Stemberger, who has been a member of the congregation for more than 60 years. “Why would you do that to something that was so helpful to the community?”

Just before 7 a.m. Saturday, West Deptford police and firefighters responded to Colonial Manor United Methodist Church for a report of a structure fire, officials said. Upon arrival, police found a fire raging in the church.

“They were just pouring out the front of the church and there was smoke coming out of the doors too, it was scary,” said a neighbor, who did not want to be identified.

Crews from the Woodbury Fire Department, Westville Fire Department, Mantua Fire Department and Deptford Fire Department also responded to the fire scene and assisted in extinguishing the fire.

A firefighter was injured after falling through a floor. He was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center and later released.

Investigators have not released a motive for the fire. They believe Cannon was homeless and that the church helped him at some point.

“They feed families and we also had the thrift store, which helped support our church, but we were also willing to give to anyone in need. If you needed something that we didn’t charge for, we just gave it away,” says Stemberger. said.

The thrift store suffered the most damage. The building also housed a food bank, which supported 30 to 40 families each week. Thousands of dollars worth of food was also lost in the fire.

Crews were able to rescue the church’s original bell from the steeple Saturday afternoon, and Stemberger said she is grateful the flames did not spread to the building where the sanctuary is located.

“I’m grateful that they are two separate buildings and that the newer building, which I remember sitting under a tree and watching them build, was saved,” Stemberger said.

The pastor tells CBS News Philadelphia he is optimistic about getting the pantry and thrift store back open as soon as possible.

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