Wednesday, February 4
Holy Name Cathedral Updates
Firefighters sweep water from the floor inside Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago Wednesday after an early morning fire severely damaged the attic and left gaping holes in the roof of the 134-year-old landmark and seat of Cardinal Francis George.
(Source: AP Photo/Chicago Sun-Times, Brian Jackson)
As you can see, the ceiling woodwork, along with the rest of the interior remains largely intact. The only visible damage in this photograph is the column to the far right. It remains to be seen how much structural damage occurred today.
More photos here.
Chicago Breaking News: Holy Name Priest to the Rescue
The Scene Inside Holy Name Cathedral:
The Rev. Matt Compton woke up to turn the light off around 5 a.m. and heard sirens near the cathedral's rectory. He thought the fire trucks were headed to a nearby condominium and office building - but then he saw a firefighter unrolling a hose and heard another say, "No, it's the church."
He sprung into action.
Compton put his boots on, grabbed his coat and rushed into the church. He directed firefighters to a southwest stairwell that led into the attic above the cathedral's decorative ceiling.
In the cathedral, water poured from the ceiling as the firefighters began battling the flames.
"It almost appeared as if it was raining in the cathedral," Compton said, adding that it smelled like "burning wood, like a fireplace."
Icicles formed on the edges of the pews, and patches of ice covered the floor.
The Rev. Daniel Mayall, Holy Name's pastor, was matter-of-fact as he pointed to where pieces of a pillar had peeled off. Earlier in the morning, a waterfall had streamed down the pillar.
"There's no other visible damage except that," Mayall said. "Everything else looks like it did yesterday."In the sanctuary, five galeros -- red ceremonial hats with tassels that belonged to former cardinals -- still hung, apparently soaked but intact.