Northeast Philly Church Partially Collapses - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Northeast Philly Church Partially Collapses

Posted: Updated:
Northeast Philadelphia -

The rough weather early Friday took a heavy toll on an historic church on the Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philly.

One wall partially collapsed, and that section of the building may be too damaged to repair.

There's a lot of history at the Harold O. Davis Memorial Baptist Church -- nearly a century's worth. But with age comes problems.

Inspectors believe a leaky roof caused the heavy rain to seep between the inner and outer walls, severely weakening a portion of the facade.

People inside said the building shook.

"How do you describe a tremble if it ain't a earthquake?" Dorsey Mitchell, the vice principal of the school, described to FOX 29. "I think it was more on a scale of one to 10, I think maybe it was like a six, seven."

No one was inside the sanctuary at the time of the collapse. Services are held Sunday mornings.

But down in the basement, the church runs a daycare and school for young children.

The kids might have thought Santa and his reindeer had just landed on their roof. After all, they were in the middle of their annual Christmas party, which turned into a kind of sidewalk cafe.

"Brought pizza for the party, and we're out here, like tailgating, like a Christmas tailgate, Pollyanna tailgate party," Shaa Ellison, the mother of a child, told FOX 29.

Thankfully, no one was injured outside where the wall collapsed or inside during the evacuation.

"Everybody was safe, everybody got out," Ellison said. "They handled it real professionally. It wasn't a lot of chaos. And everybody was nice and calm."

Inspectors determined the side of the church that holds the sanctuary survived intact. But the other side the building is now off limits; it's too unsafe for anyone.

And that raises questions about the immediate future of the school.

"We're not sure yet," Bishop Kirby Newkirk said. "We don't know the severity of the damage. And so, until the engineer gives us a complete report, we don't even have an estimate as to what we need to do."

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Man Uses 10 Fake Names, Steals $360K In Welfare, Gets 30 Months

    Man Uses 10 Fake Names, Steals $360K In Welfare, Gets 30 Months

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:39:30 GMT
    A Philadelphia man who pleaded guilty to using multiple names and addresses to steal almost $360,000 in welfare benefits has been sentenced to serve less than three years in jail, authorities said Wednesday.
    A Philadelphia man who pleaded guilty to using multiple names and addresses to steal almost $360,000 in welfare benefits has been sentenced to serve less than three years in jail, authorities said Wednesday.
  • muhlenberg-motel-fire

    Firefighters Battling Blaze In Muhlenberg Motel

    Firefighters Battling Blaze In Muhlenberg Motel

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:10:34 GMT
    Firefighters are battling flames and stiff winds at the scene of a multi-alarm motel fire in Berks County.
    Firefighters are battling flames and stiff winds at the scene of a multi-alarm motel fire in Berks County.
  • Police Warn Drivers After 2 Armed Carjackings In Camden

    Police Warn Drivers After 2 Armed Carjackings In Camden

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:17 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:17:23 GMT

    Police in Camden County are asking drivers to be alert after two carjackings since this weekend along one city street.

    Police in Camden County are asking drivers to be alert after two carjackings since this weekend along one city street.

Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices