Out-of-control fire demolishes historic Philadelphia church (VIDEO)
Massive flames engulfed a century-old church in West Philadelphia, prompting a rapid evacuation as parts of the building to collapsed, while huge plumes of smoke could be seen from afar.
The three-alarm blaze was finally brought under control after several hours on Tuesday evening, although fire crews remained on the scene into Wednesday night to douse hot spots according to Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel.
Firefighters reportedly arrived at the Greater Bible Way Temple just three minutes after they received the call at about 2:50pm local time, but the blaze was already out of control. Video footage from the scene shows the place of worship engulfed in huge flames and a massive cloud of smoke billowing from the building’s collapsed roof.
One person was transported to hospital with unknown injuries.
A witness told Action News how they spotted the fire and ran inside to tell others to escape. “I see the smoke and the next thing I know I ran over to get the people out of the lobby. They didn’t even know the church was on fire.”
Work was being carried out on the church’s roof shortly before the blaze broke out, however, the official cause has yet to be determined. The church reportedly housed people in the rectory, and also included a daycare. The building has stood in its place since 1904.
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