New York City: Crews battle blaze at historic Church of St. James the Apostle

A frightening blaze at Manhattan’s second-oldest Catholic church today brought Archbishop Timothy Dolan rushing down to the site himself to survey the damage.

Smoke and flames could be seen billowing from the rooftop of the Church of St. James the Apostle at 3 James St. in Lower Manhattan around noon after the fire broke out on the 183-year-old structure’s top floor.

“This has to be one of the few times I was grateful the church was empty,” Dolan said while thanking firefighters who had rushed to the landmarked, pillared church to put out the blaze.

He emphasized the church’s significance.

“It is a particularly historic church,” he said. “This church serves a very vibrant community, and we need to survey the damage.”

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