An extra-alarm fire broke out in a 92-year-old church that was undergoing renovation work in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side on Wednesday morning.
There were no reports of injuries at the Shrine of Christ the King Church at 64th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, according to fire officials. But a shelter for women and children was evacuated next door, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.
The fire broke out around 6 a.m. and was raised to a 3-11 alarm, sending 150 firefighters to the scene along with extra equipment to fight the fire on the roof, Langford said
In 2004 the church launched a fundraising drive to collect nearly $6 million for the work. The church was reopened as the Shrine of Christ the King as the work continued. It is about a mile from the University of Chicago.Chicago Tribune: Extra-alarm fire at nearly century-old church in Woodlawn
HT Vox, AC
Media: Priests of Christ the King Sovereign Priest who staff shrine praying on knees across the street pic.twitter.com/AZf3dXBEJP— The Four Marks (@TheFourMarks) October 7, 2015
Join us in prayer for the faithful of #Chicago's Shrine of Christ the King, as crews battle a 3-alarm fire #Catholic https://t.co/uQlTGZefOt— ArchdioceseMilwaukee (@archmil) October 7, 2015
Please pray for all affected by the fire at @ShrineLandmark. Our prayers are with you! https://t.co/Tm1de7zT54 pic.twitter.com/htI3ouoG9a— St John Cantius (@SJCantius) October 7, 2015
Alderman Willie B. Cochran said a major renovation project expected to take 10-15 years was underway at the shrine. He said millions of dollars had already been spent.ABC7
McNicholas said restoration workers did some varnishing and stripped floors Tuesday night. The workers said they left the shrine around 10 p.m. Fire officials said the work may have sparked the fire and that it may have been burning for hours.
Once it is safe to get inside, investigators will determine the cause of the fire. City building inspectors will asses the extent of the damage later on Wednesday.