ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City firefighters battle a huge fire overnight at an old north city Catholic Church that was turned into an indoor skate park. The fire was so intense that the embers spread to a building two blocks away.
What’s left of the old St. Liborius Church is ‘Sk8 Liborius,’ on the Hogan and North Market streets, until the huge fire gutted the building overnight. Fire crews are still dousing the building with water hours now after the original fire started.
Crews got the call around 10:45 p.m. The fire quickly grew into four alarms with many crews responding to the scene. St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson shared that it is a very large building and embers were blowing everywhere.
Jenkerson also said in addition to fighting the flames, crews were also dousing nearby buildings including newer homes to make sure the embers did not catch those structures on fire. Jenkerson told FOX 2 that the fire started in the old rectory and got worse from there.
Crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to other nearby buildings, but the embers were such a problem that Jenkerson revealed that they caught a vacant home on fire two blocks away. Crews responded to that scene as well to put out that fire as other firefighters continued to fight the initial flames.
FOX 2 spoke with Jenkerson earlier about fighting the blaze.
“This is a big, big building, Jenkerson said. “A very heavy complex. So we did have to reposition some equipment, so we wouldn’t lose it. We were worried about some of the building coming down. The building has not come down. We have it under control. We’ve got fire investigation on the scene, they’re doing the interviews. This fire spread very quickly from one side of the compound to the other side. So, we’ll take a good look at it and see what happened here.”
FOX 2’s Daniel Esteve did a story last year on the skate park inside the old church. It gives an idea of what was inside this building that’s all gone now.
A cause for the fire is still under investigation. No injuries are being reported. FOX 2 will update this story with more information as it becomes available.