Four-alarm fire destroys East Oak Lane church

Firefighters fight a four-alarm fire that broke out yesterday afternoon at St. Mary's Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church in East Oak Lane. No one was injured in the fire.
Firefighters fight a four-alarm fire that broke out yesterday afternoon at St. Mary's Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church in East Oak Lane. No one was injured in the fire.
Posted: August 27, 2013

A UKRAINIAN Orthodox church in East Oak Lane was severely damaged during a four-alarm fire yesterday.

The fire was reported about 1 p.m. at St. Mary's Protectress Ukrainian Church, on 12th Street near 66th Avenue.

Firefighters arrived at the scene to find smoke billowing from the roof, Executive Fire Chief Richard Davison said. The flames continued to spread along the roof, prompting officials to ring the fourth alarm.

More than 100 firefighters responded, and the blaze was eventually put under control at 3:19 p.m. - but not before the damage was done, with flames tearing through the entire building and spreading to a school connected to the church.

No injuries were reported, 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. Davison said that because of the size of the blaze, firefighters could remain at the scene overnight to make sure the flames do not reignite.

Peco cut electricity to about 150 homes in the neighborhood. It was unclear whether power had been restored last night.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


On Twitter: @ChroniclesofSol

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