Church destroyed in 2-alarm fire near Nicholson and Agnes - KCTV5 News

Church destroyed in 2-alarm fire near Nicholson and Agnes

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(Stephanie Kayser/KCTV) (Stephanie Kayser/KCTV)
The flames started at about 4:24 a.m. at the St. Francis Seraph Catholic Church, located at Nicholson Avenue and N Agnes Avenue. (KCTV5) The flames started at about 4:24 a.m. at the St. Francis Seraph Catholic Church, located at Nicholson Avenue and N Agnes Avenue. (KCTV5)
When crews arrived, they saw flames from the churches floor to its roof. (KCTV5) When crews arrived, they saw flames from the churches floor to its roof. (KCTV5)
Fire officials are calling the incident suspicious. It is unknown what started the fire and crews say it could be anything. (KCTV5) Fire officials are calling the incident suspicious. It is unknown what started the fire and crews say it could be anything. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Firefighters in Kansas City responded to a two-alarm fire at an abandoned church early Thursday morning.

The flames started at about 4:24 a.m. at the St. Francis Seraph Catholic Church, located at Nicholson Avenue and N. Agnes Avenue.

When crews arrived, they saw flames from the churches floor to its roof.

Fire officials are calling the incident suspicious. It is unknown what started the fire and crews say it could be anything.

The building was surrounded by a fence, had graffiti on its front, and had not been used in years.

Historic Kansas City had put the church on its Dangerous Buildings List and had it slated for demolition in 2011. John Baccala, a city official, said it had a pre-demolition inspection on Wednesday.

Many are wondering why a dilapidated church stayed up for so long. A city spokesperson said buildings have to meet several requirements and be beyond repair in order for that to happen. The spokesperson says it would have been expensive to tear it down back then because the city didn’t have the $10 million, two-year dangerous building initiative.

They were hopeful the property would be revitalized when a private owner bought the church during a tax sale.

Fire officials say the demolition was delayed because the contractor wanted to salvage the building's stained glass. When firefighters arrived, any stained glass had either been destroyed or had already been taken out.

Now, a city spokesperson believes the demolition will happen as soon as tomorrow. 

Firefighters say neighbors likely called about the fire.

A woman came out to see the damage. She said her father called her and she couldn’t believe it. She says she and her sister used to attend church there, were confirmed there and have many good memories. She says it is devastating to watch it go up in flames. 

She was just one of many who came to see what was left of the church. 

No injuries were reported.

By 6 p.m., smoke was still coming off the church, so firefighters were giving it another spray of water. 

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.). All rights reserved.

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