TOWNSEND, Massachusetts — A priest was taken to the hospital with burns suffered in a fire at a church rectory in Massachusetts early Monday morning.

The fire at St. John the Evangelist Catholic church in Townsend was reported at about 2 a.m.

The priest was inside the rectory and heard the smoke detectors going off on the first floor, Fire Chief Mark Boynton said.

He used a fire extinguisher to try to put out the flames and suffered burns to his hands, the chief said. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released.

No name was made public.

Crews from nearby Fitchburg, Pepperell and Ashby responded to the multi-alarm blaze.

The cause remains under investigation, but Boynton said the fire appeared to have started on the first floor.