Fire breaks out in closed Kensington church used as refuge by addicts, homeless

Philadelphia fire investigator walks across broken glass after a two-alarm fire overnight at the abandoned Ascension of Our Lord Church in Philadelphia on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017.

A two-alarm fire broke out early Thursday in an abandoned Roman Catholic church in Kensington that is used as a refuge by drug addicts and the homeless.

No serious injuries were reported in the blaze at the former Ascension of Our Lord Church, but firefighters had to contend with temperatures in the teens and ice that quickly formed as they battled the blaze.

Camera icon TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
Exterior of the former Ascension of Our Lord Church in Kensington after the fire.

Officials said 19 people fled the church at 700 E. Cornwall St. after the fire broke out about 1 a.m.

Firefighters also briefly evacuated residents of some nearby homes because of concerns the flames could spread. The fire was declared under control an hour later.

There have been other fires inside the church, which officials have repeatedly attempted to seal.

The cause of the latest blaze is under investigation.

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