St. Theodosius Church in Cleveland Damaged by Fire after Roof Work

The fire at the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Theodosius, which occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 28, 2024, caused extensive damage to the roof of the historic building in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. It took firefighters more than four hours to put out the fire, which was brought under control just before 9pm. The fire was mainly contained to the roof area and there were no injuries.

St Theodosius in Cleveland before the fire CC BY-SA 2.0,

The cause of the fire was declared accidental and originated from the work of some workers on the roof. It is not known what type of work they were doing. The fire caused $1 million in damage, including smoke and water damage. Firefighters were able to save several artifacts inside the building and there was no damage to the church’s windows or doors.

The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was used as a location for the 1978 film “The Deer Hunter.” It also appears in the opening credits of the 1989 film “Major League.”

On Friday, May 31, the city of Cleveland cordoned off the area around St. Theodosius Orthodox Cathedral on Starkweather Avenue after a member of the church reported to the city that one of the domes was swaying. A church spokesperson said the large dome must be torn down and will likely have to be dismantled. The dome is probably not repairable and probably cannot be salvaged for any new structure to be rebuilt on the church. The church and some adjacent properties were evacuated on Friday morning “as a precaution”. Officials asked the public to avoid the area while church engineers and contractors worked to fix the problem. The city does not believe the church is in danger of collapse and does not foresee “the need to demolish anything.”