Fire Will Shut Chicago Cathedral for Months

134-year-old landmark suffered major water damage in today's fire
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 4, 2009 5:26 PM CST
Chicago firefighters work in freezing temperatures on a multiple-alarm fire today at the Holy Name Cathedral.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Chicago’s historic Holy Name Cathedral has gaping holes in its roof as a result of this morning’s fire, and suffered significant water damage, the Sun-Times reports. With the fire extinguished, crews started pumping water out of the 134-year-old Gothic revival structure. Priests and nuns who were inside escaped safely, but a firefighter was slightly injured. Investigators don’t suspect arson.

The church has been raising $10 million for much-needed renovations. Last year, a 10-pound wood decoration fell 70 feet from the roof. “It’s a shame to see we’re back to square one,” the pastor said. The church, seat of Cardinal Francis George, will close for several months. “Chicago has always bounced back from fires,” the cardinal assured.