Lawncrest church damaged by fire

Christie Ileto Image
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Flames attack a Philadelphia church
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Crescentville United Methodist Church damaged by flames as reported during Action News at 10 by Christie Ileto on August 21, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Fire attacked Crescentville United Methodist Church on Hasbrook Avenue and Senter Street in the Lawncrest section of the city Tuesday night.

A neighbor spotted smoke seeping from the steeple of the church before calling firefighters who raced to put out the growing flames.

"I smelled smoke. I told my daughter someone is cooking something and it's been going on for quite some time," said Sallia Williams.

It's not clear exactly when the fire started or how long it had been burning, but it was enough to gut the tower of the church that has stood solidly since the 1920s.

"The church tower is damaged to the point where the roof needs to be repaired. Our cross is damaged," said church member Richard Snyder.

An added blow for the congregation who said the church was targeted by vandals months earlier in May.

Yards of copper heating and water pipes stolen, along with an air conditioning unit and several pots and pans.

"We were just finishing our repairs, we were just about back to normal when this happened," said Snyder.

Church members said that fortunately the building is insured and that this shouldn't impact weekend services.

"It could have gone unnoticed, being that high up and thank God for that neighbor across the street saw it and saw the smoke," said Jean Pleis, a church member. "It's sad but we'll pick up and carry on. What else can you do?"


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