Approximately 75 firefighters battled the intense flames for several hours, before knocking down the main body of fire. At approximately 12:20p.m. crews were able to re-enter the heavily damaged church, to begin dousing the hot spots.
Approximately 7 minutes later, without warning, tragedy struck. The church collapsed, sending large timbers to crash through the floors and into the basement, as well as bricks and concrete block crashing to the street below, striking and injuring approximately 25-30 firefighters on the ground, and trapping 2 firefighters deep beneath the rubble inside the church.
City of Pittsburgh EMS along with multiple outside EMS agencies rushed the injured firefighters to numerous hospitals and trauma centers in the area. An immediate search was underway for the two unaccounted for firefighters.
Multiple rescuers including a USAR Strike Team from Westmoreland County, rushed to the scene to assist in searching for the trapped firefighters. The team is also is compromised of 24 Pittsburgh EMS Paramedics and Firefighters who were also on the scene and assisted in the recovery efforts.Funeral Information