Christ Church in Old City tests fire suppression system

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In Philadelphia, the 265-year-old wooden spire of Christ Church in Old City was shrouded in mist Wednesday morning.

This was a test of the steeple's fire suppression system and officials tell us it was a success.

The pump came up to pressure and all the nozzles worked just as they should.



Preservation advocates at Christ Church, of course, want to make sure the tragedy that befell Notre Dame does not happen here as our local historic landmark prepares to renovate the leaning steeple in the coming months.

Church officials also tell us the purpose of Wednesday's test was both symbolic and practical.

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"Our partners at Oliver Sprinkler and we agreed that we should do an early testing of it right now and make sure it's in tip top shape before the scaffolding here goes up in the next few weeks," said Timothy Safford, the rector at Christ Church.

"We were all very, very upset and heartbroken by the tragedy of Notre Dame's cathedral and the loss of a great building.. so we wanted to set it off as a tribute to them and in solidarity with them," said Barbara Hogue, Christ Church Preservation Trust.

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The wooden roof of Notre Dame was not protected by a sprinkler system, whereas the sprinkler system at Christ Church tested was put in the 1920s and then updated in 2011.

The system is due for even more updates this summer.

And officials do test it every year.
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