TOWNSEND, MASS. (WHDH) - A priest was hospitalized with burn injuries after a raging fire broke out at a church rectory in Townsend early Monday morning.

Crews responding to a reported fire at St. John’s Church on School Street around 3:30 a.m. found large flames pouring out of the church rectory.

A priest had attempted to put the fire out and suffered burns to his hands, according to the Townsend Fire Chief Mark Boynton.

“He heard the smoke detectors going off came downstairs saw the fire,” Boynton said. “He attempted to put it out with a fire extinguisher. In the process he burned his hands. He went to a neighbors house; they called 911.”

The priest was taken to an area hospital and has since been released.

Firefighters braved frigid temperatures while battling the blaze.

The cause remains under investigation.

No additional information was immediately available.

This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.

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