Electrical wiring sparked West Philadelphia church fire, fire marshal says

WEST PHILADELPHIA - November 10, 2013

Firefighters were called to the Faith Outreach Ministries for All People Church at 59th and Master Streets at 3:45 a.m. Sunday.

"First company arrived on scene at 3:48. Companies came and found heavy fire on the second floor. They were able to make a good, aggressive interior attack," Philadelphia Fire Chief Charles Walker said that morning.

The fire was placed under control by 4:32 a.m.

The building's second floor suffered the heaviest damage. One firefighter was treated for minor injuries.

In findings released Wednesday, the Philadelphia Fire Marshal's office said the blaze originated in non-permanent electrical wiring located in a second floor office.

The fire sparked sympathy in the surrounding community.

Church members who gathered outside the church Sunday morning declined to comment on the fire, saying that Bishop Bobby Leon Scales Junior and other church officials were meeting to discuss what the congregation would do.

But members of the Calvin Presbyterian Church across the street reached out to the fire victims, offering the use of their facility.

"We saw this on the news this morning. We were saddened by this. We went over and offered our services to them in any kind of way we can accommodate them," Elder Ron Ricks of the Calvin Presbyterian Church said Sunday.

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