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Monday, August 26, 2013

4-Alarm Fire Rips Through Historic Philadelphia Church

Firefighters fight a four-alarm fire that broke out Sunday afternoon at St. Mary's Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church in East Oak Lane, Philadelphia. No one was injured in the fire.

A four-alarm fire Sunday caused extensive damage to a historic 99-year-old church in Philadelphia. The fire broke out at the Saint Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church on 6629 N 12th Street around 1 p.m. A large portion of the church’s roof collapsed in the blaze. The head of the church says that the fire destroyed millions of dollars in furniture, religious art and icons.

Philadelphia firefighters arrived to heavy smoke showing from the church. Fire officials say they started fighting the fire from inside the building, but when flames became too intense and spread too quickly, they had to get outside.

Fire officials say about 120 firefighters and 133 pieces of apparatus responded to the blaze.

“When we went in our firefighters made the attack. When they saw the fire, the fire was high,” said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Ayers says he called his crews out of the church just moments before the roof collapsed.

The fire was placed under control at 3:19 p.m.

No injuries were reported, Executive Fire Chief Richard Davison said. The fire started after the congregation's morning service. "It was hard for the Fire Department personnel to locate the extent of the fire," Davison said. "It was hiding, but it was traveling as well." By 7 p.m., fire personnel were still on the scene wetting down the hot spots. Chief Davison said that because of the size of the blaze, firefighters remained at the scene overnight to make sure the flames do not reignite.

No injuries were reported, and no word on a cause, the cause of the fire is under investigation.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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