Duquesne Landmark Church Facing Demolition After Rain-Soaked Roof Collapses

DUQUESNE (KDKA) — A historic church in the City of Duquesne will likely be demolished after a partial roof collapse that prompted evacuations Monday afternoon.

The Red Cross said late Monday night that they have found temporary lodging for 13 adults and four children forced to evacuate their apartment building because they live near the old church on First Avenue.

Part of the roof of the former Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church came crashing down Monday afternoon. The sanctuary was vacated decades ago, and it has since sat in ruins.

It was home to a mostly Slovakian population in the booming Mon Valley, built in 1904.

Mark Nicassio, of the KCA Demolition Company in Duquesne, told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “All the rain Sunday night took the church roof out and shifted the whole building sideways.”

Nicassio said an emergency crew will take the building down, and make sure none of the surrounding buildings and structures were damaged.

Nicassio said any additional rain could cause more of the building to come down.

(Photo Courtesy: Brian Griffin)

(Photo Courtesy: Brian Griffin)

City of Duquesne Fire Chief Andrew Fedor said a building inspector was on the scene [Monday], and a city engineer will visit the site Tuesday. He says an emergency demolition is likely.

Rhonda Dukes, who lives near the landmark church, said, “It looked like the roof completely fell in. It was frightening. I heard the collapsing sound; there was black smoke, and a rumbling sound.”

No one was hurt when the roof tumbled down.

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