By: KDKA-TV News Staff
ARNOLD, Pa. (KDKA) – Smoke and flames could be seen shooting from the roof and the roof collapsed at a church in Westmoreland County.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Frigid Temperatures Wrap Up The Week
It was just after 8:00 on Saturday night when crews were called to the St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church in Arnold.
CHURCH FIRE: Multiple fire crews are on scene of a fire at the St. Vladimir Catholic Church in Westmoreland County. It’s happening on Kenneth Ave. & McCandless Street. Flames and smoke can be seen coming from the roof. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/81GoUhLhWF
— Erika Stanish (@Erika_Stanish) December 5, 2021
Firefighters attacked the fire from all sides, even breaking windows inside to ventilate the building.
They tried to save what they could, including some statues and artifacts from when the church was built.
The fire chief said the fire started in the back of the building.
The church was built and opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1947 and currently had between 30 and 40 parishioners.
Many of them were on the scene tonight, watching the fire in devastation.
They said they’re shocked and saddened to see it happen.READ MORE: Search For Suspects Continues After Student Killed In Shooting Outside Oliver Citywide Academy
“It almost made me cry,” said Michael Haracznak. “Just all the memories throughout the years.”
The Diocese of Greensburg is offering support.
“I was so saddened to hear of the fire at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church in Arnold,” Bishop Larry Kulick of the Diocese of Greensburg. “I, along with all the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Greensburg, offer our thoughts and prayers to the pastor, parishioners, and faithful in the Eparchy. As fellow brothers and sisters in faith, we stand ready to assist in any way possible. I have fond memories of the clergy and parishioners at St. Vladimir’s from my time as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in nearby New Kensington.”
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Those who attended the church said it’s what kept the community together here.
It’s unknown what caused the fire.MORE NEWS: When Should You Take A PCR Test Vs. A Rapid Antigen Test?
This is a developing story, stay with KDKA.com for the latest.