Hidden Fire Dooms Historic Church

Issue 7 and Volume 124.

Hidden Fire Dooms Historic Church Photo by Harry J. Deitz, News—Item In Shamokin, Pa., St. Edward’s Church has long been looked upon as a historic landmark by area residents. The structure was the first church in the world to be lighted by electricity and the wiring was installed under the personal direction of Thomas A. Edison. St. Edward’s, a large stone and wood church, stood for 99 years and was a fire chief’s nightmare because of the numerous catwalks and false partitions. At approximately 2 a.m. last April 8, a passerby smelled smoke in the vicinity of the church. He walked six blocks to City Hall, where fire and police dispatch headquarters are located, and informed the duty watch. The dispatcher notified two police cruisers, which went to the scene to investigate. With the aid of spotlights the police officers noticed smoke issuing from louvers in the 150-foot-tall bell tower,…

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