Philadelphia Catholic school looking at temporary learning locations after devastating fire

"It seems like our 5th or 8th-grade classrooms are totally destroyed," said Father John Fisher.

Alyana Gomez Image
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Catholic school looking at temporary learning locations after fire
EMBED <>More Videos

"The roof collapsed and crushed everything like a pancake. It seems like our 5th or 8th-grade classrooms are totally destroyed," said Father John Fisher.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A pillar in the Chestnut Hill community is now destroyed after flames torched the Our Mother of Consolation Parish School Tuesday afternoon.

"The roof collapsed and crushed everything like a pancake. It seems like our 5th or 8th-grade classrooms are totally destroyed," said Father John Fisher.

When fire crews arrived on the scene around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, heavy smoke and flames were seen coming from the roof.

"I'm glad nobody was hurt and apparently everybody was outside at the time," said Matthew Chrzanawski of Chestnut Hill.

SEE ALSO: Roof collapses as fire destroys Catholic school in Chestnut Hill

"Just the memories inside, that's what hurts the most," said John Evans of Mount Airy.

"There doesn't seem to be any damage to the church, but I'm sure they'll assess that and see when it's safe to go back," said Karen Feisullin of Chestnut Hill.

Throughout the day, local families stopped by to see the damage. The windows are busted out and inside you can see the charred furniture.

Books and backpacks left behind outside are still intact, as well as the structure itself. However, school is out for the rest of the week until they find a temporary location.

"We're out of the building for the rest of the year and we've just been graciously blessed by other places offering their space for us to get up... The Archdiocese will also offer assistance on where to go," said Father Fisher.

For now, the investigation continues. Fire officials say nothing is off the table in terms of what sparked the blaze.

The ATF is on the scene and the National Response Team is on the way due to the size of the fire and because it happened on a church property.