Head of School Gives Update on Fire at Neighboring Church

IND"s Head of School updates the latest developments regarding the fire at IND's neighbor, the Urban Bible Fellowship Church.

Dear IND Community, 

I wanted to update you on today’s news regarding the fire at the Urban Bible Fellowship Church adjacent to IND. Firefighters were called to the scene early this morning and were able to bring the blaze under control and extinguish the fire this afternoon. It was at this time, the Baltimore City Fire Department accompanied me, Kathy Cullen Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations, Greg Carrick Maintenance Operator and Dave Hopp the head of our Security Team into the building. During the tour we documented minimal damage to the first floor, mainly consisting of water damage. The remainder of the building seems to be intact and in good shape.
Since IND’s opening in 1847, the church’s steeple, which partially collapsed in this morning’s fire has become the unofficial iconic symbol for IND. It could be seen from I-83 and beyond, and you knew when you saw it, IND was right there. Initial reports suggest a lightning strike may have been to blame, but the investigation is ongoing. I am extremely grateful that no one was injured as both IND and the church were empty at the time the fire broke out. Our thoughts and prayers go out of the community as well as the first responders who worked tirelessly to contain the fire and keep our historic building safe.
I especially want to send a big THANK YOU to the Baltimore City Fire Department and Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young for doing everything they could to protect our school and building. From the moment I arrived on the scene it was evident that they were taking great care in the historic and spiritual aspect of both IND and the Urban Bible Fellowship Church, formerly St. James the Less Roman Catholic Church. A thank you to Archbishop William Lori as well for reaching out in support and sending his blessings.
During this time of uncertainty, I truly believe our foundress Blessed Mother Theresa and beloved Sister Hildie were watching over us and our historic institution and will continue to do so as we weather the storm. Be sure to tune into the news this evening for the latest information.
Take care,
Christine E. Szala
IND Head of Schoo
Established by the
School Sisters of
Notre Dame in 1847.