Northeast Philly Church Partially Collapses - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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>>

  • ANOTHER COMFORTABLE DAY

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:23 AM EDT2014-07-30 14:23:12 GMT

    Refreshing Forecast Wednesday will feature another comfortable day with below average temperatures and low humidity.  Highs in the upper 70s/Low 80s.  Expect a mix of sun and clouds.

    Wednesday (82/61): Sun/Clouds

    Refreshing Forecast

    Wednesday will feature another comfortable day with below average temperatures and low humidity.  Highs in the upper 70s/Low 80s.  Expect a mix of sun and clouds. A chance of showers and thunderstorms returns tomorrow as we transition into a stormy pattern for the weekend.

    Wednesday (82/61): Sun/Clouds

  • Restroom Cameras At UDel. Didn't Focus On 1 Person

    Restroom Cameras At UDel. Didn't Focus On 1 Person

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-07-30 13:08:17 GMT
    Court records say a former University of Delaware graduate researcher who is accused of using a recording device to make videos of women in on- and off-campus bathrooms secretly did it for "personal gratification" and did not seek out any one woman.
    Court records say a former University of Delaware graduate researcher who is accused of using a recording device to make videos of women in on- and off-campus bathrooms secretly did it for "personal gratification" and did not seek out any one woman.
  • 6 Former Philadelphia Narcotics Officers Under Arrest

    6 Former Philadelphia Narcotics Officers Under Arrest

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:32 AM EDT2014-07-30 12:32:10 GMT

    Six former Philadelphia police narcotics officers are in federal custody Wednesday morning on corruption charges, high-ranking police sources tell FOX 29 News.

    Six former Philadelphia police narcotics officers are in federal custody Wednesday morning on corruption charges, high-ranking police sources tell FOX 29 News.

Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

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