Englewood Church Fire

Englewood Antioch Baptist Church, Which Caught Fire Three Times in a Week, to be Demolished

George Mycyk, NBC Chicago

Demolition crews will begin tearing down Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday, days after a fire all but destroyed the historic Englewood church.

Building inspectors ordered the demolition because the church, left structurally unsound after the fire, “poses a potential danger to surrounding buildings and public safety,” the Department of Buildings said in a statement.

The church caught fire last week, not long after Rev. Gerald Dew presided over a Good Friday service, charring everything expect a mural of Jesus ascending to the heavens.

The blaze was accidentally sparked by a propane torch being used to work on the church’s roof, the Chicago Fire Department determined. The fire reignited two additional times in the following days.

In its statement, the city said it “is committed to continuing to work closely with the leadership of the Antioch Missionary Baptist as they deal with the loss of this historic community pillar.”

The church, at 6248 S. Stewart Ave., has been home to the Antioch MBC congregation since 1958.

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