PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fire officials are concerned the towering steeple at St. Leo’s could come down after a second alarm fire tore through the Tacony church Sunday. The area around the church on the 6600 block of Keystone Street has been blocked off for safety in case the steeple comes down.
The church has been gutted and the roof is completely caved in after flames ripped through the church just after 5 p.m. All that’s left is a shell of once was and the memories of so many life moments that took place there.READ MORE: Methacton Lacrosse Coach Garth Little Facing Charges After Video Captures Him Shoving Student-Athlete
This is what’s left of St. Leo the Great’s historic church in Tacony after a massive fire gutted the building Sunday night. Fire crews have the area blocked off, concerned the steeple could fall (you’ve likely seen it along I-95 near Cottman). @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/pzi567J9Xp
— Alicia Roberts (@ARobertsCBS) May 10, 2021
Video shared with CBS3 on Twitter shows flames and heavy black smoke pouring from the church.
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From 95N pic.twitter.com/alYmWZKSr9
— Deer (@BigDeer33) May 9, 2021
“It’s sad, it’s really sad,” a neighborhood resident said.
When fire crews arrived to the scene, heavy smoke could be seen from the front of the historic church. The fire also partly damaged the rectory next door.
More than 100 firefighters hosed down the church, which hasn’t been used for services since 2019, from the ground and overhead for hours. What’s left is now just the frame and iconic steeple.
“I’m still surprised the wall is still standing,” a resident said.
Residents from the area recalled memories that took place at the church. Some memories included marriage, attending school and teaching there, and being friends with people they grew up attending church services with.
The St. Leo’s community came together one more time on Sunday night to remember the place known as the heart of Tacony.MORE NEWS: 'Sad Day In The Rescue World': Animal Advocates Fear Proposed Legislation Would Force Dog Owners To Give Up Pets
The fire was placed under control at 7:08 p.m. and no injuries were reported.