Catholic Churches Churches Fires

St. Edwards Roman Catholic Church Fire Photos – April 8th 1971

Around 2 o’clock on the morning of April 8th, 1971 a fire broke out at the historic St. Edwards Catholic Church on Shamokin Street in Shamokin. The blaze was said to have been the worst the city had seen in over 50 years and completely destroyed the 99-year old house of worship.

A little over a month later, it was determined that a fallen vigil candle was likely the cause of the blaze. The investigation concluded that the candle fell from its holder and ignited woolen carpet and spread throughout the church. The large belfry acted as a chimney making it impossible to save the structure.

By October 1974, the rebuilt church rededicated. Today the church continues to serve the Catholic community of Shamokin as Mother Cabrini Catholic Church.

In this exhibit, we present some amazing photos taken by Frank Posca, not only of the fire as it happened but also of the devastating aftermath it left behind.

These photos are being presented courtesy of the Northumberland County Historical Society. Click Here to learn more about the life and work of Frank Posca.

Rare Photos of St. Edward’s Church Fire – April 8th 1971

Front Page Coverage of St. Edward’s Fire – The News-Item, April 8th, 1971

St. Edward’s Fire Cause Determined – News Item, May 24th, 1971