East St. Louis church destroyed by fire
A fire at the Christ Redeemed Missionary Baptist Church continued burning Sunday morning after the blaze destroyed most of the church Saturday night.
As of 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon, the church was still putting off smoke but fire crews had left the scene.
Ortega Redd, who lives across the street from the church, said he had fond memories of the church — he said he remembers taking tours and attending summer camps.
“We’ve got a lot of memories there. It’s a shock to see it going up,” Redd said.
He said the church was not in good shape, however, and said the fire was bound to happen.
“I kind of expected it to happen because of the kind of shape it was in. It was falling apart,” Redd said.
Gwen Humphries is a member of the Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, just a few blocks from Christ Redeemed. She said it’s “horrible” what happened to the old building.
“I really hate that it burned, but God will fix it,” Humphries said.
East St. Louis police said the fire rekindled early Sunday morning. Firefighters were on scene attempting to extinguish the fire. Nuns who live in a building adjacent to the church were able to leave their home safely.
The East St. Louis Fire Department received the call about the fire at 6:55 p.m. Saturday, Fire Chief Jason Blackmon said. The first truck arrived at 7:03 p.m. Saturday, and the second one arrived two minutes later.
Yola Rhodes, daughter of Rev. Dewitt Rhodes, said the family did not know what caused the fire as of Sunday morning. No one was injured in the fire.