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Follow-up: Fire at St. James Church

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The Fire Department announced a short time ago that yesterday’s fire at St. James Church in Chinatown was caused by a faulty chimney. More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze yesterday at 32 James Street. The structure, just below Chatham Square, is the second oldest Catholic church in Manhattan. Archbishop Timothy Dolan was on the scene.

A few moments ago, Father Walter Tonelotto told us us the damage to the church is minor. They’re working on boarding up a section of the roof firefighters punctured to get to the flames and smoke. On Thursday, he’s expecting a full assessment from the church’s insurance company. Father Tonelotto is fairly confident services will be held at St. James this weekend. But he won’t know for sure until the insurance company gives the okay.

No one was inside the building at the time the fire broke out, at about noon yesterday.

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