Large, heavy stones tumble from facade of Fishtown church

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Neighbors report that large stones once again fell from a historic church in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia on Monday.

This is the second time this year that large stones have tumbled down the facade of Saint Laurentius Catholic Church on the 1600 block of East Berks Street.

The 130-year-old church has been in disrepair for years now.

Back in March, Licensing and Inspection did determine that the facade will continue to fail.

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Large stones fall from facade of Fishtown Church: Jeannette Reyes reports on Action News at 4 a.m., May 6, 2019

Netting and scaffolding have been installed to contain the stones, as officials said some the stones have weighed close to 700 pounds.

"They should probably just fix it up, but for the safety of the school and everybody that walks by here," said Ryan Burns of Fishtown. "I think it should probably get fixed."

Around 1 a.m. Monday the stones began to fall again. Neighbors reported the issue to the fire department.
Upon arrival, fire officials said they discovered stones had fallen onto the scaffolding.

Licensing and Inspection was called and police taped off the area as a precaution.

Officials said additional safety measures are being explored.

Classes at neighboring Saint Laurentius School were canceled Monday for safety reasons.

Donna McKnight said she received an alert from the school early this morning.

"They need to do something with it," she said. "I'm off work today, thank God."

L&I will be coming out along with some engineers to further investigate the structural integrity of the church given what happened overnight.

Based on those results, school officials will then be able to determine when classes can resume.
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