CHICAGO (WLS) — A steeple has collapsed after a fire broke out at a church early Saturday morning on the city’s South Side, according to the Chicago Fire Department.
Flames could be seen shooting through the roof of the Advocate United Church of Christ that’s located near 102nd and Avenue L in the city’s East Side neighborhood.
Firefighters were called out to the fire at around 3:40 a.m. No one was inside of the church at the time.
CFD said there are not injuries at this time.
Cameras were rolling as the steeple fell, hitting a house and SUV on it’s way down.
Nearby residents were asked to evacuate their homes as crews worked to put the fire out. Firefighters are still on the scene putting out hot spots.
According to the church leaders, about 50 people worship at the church. They’ve been there for almost 10 years but the building has been around for at least 100 years.
“I know we all are going to be okay, and I know that God has something good in store for us,” church member Dannielle Hansley said.
Pastor Malcom Griffith described the church as a ministry that serves the homeless and gives back to the community.
The pastor said everything inside the church is likely lost.
“I really don’t have any words,” said Griffith.
Griffith said he was just at the church on Friday evening.
“Ironically, we was even here to meet the building code inspector,” said Griffith. “We just passed the inspection, everything was fine.”
Church member Cheryl Thompson who stood outside of the burning church said she’s hopeful.
“There will be trials and tribulations in life, however you have to look to hills, which comes your help,” said Thompson. “So we know this is a situation that’s happening now, but it’s not the end of the world.” “You know, the Lord is still in control.”
Built in 1899, the former home of Saint Petri United Church of God and everything in it, is probably a complete loss, although the church’s bell was saved.
“That’s all we have right now, it’s our faith,” said Griffith. “That the lord is going to get us through this.”