May 29, 2024 - News

Orthodox Church from "The Deer Hunter" damaged in Cleveland fire

Image of St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Church in Cleveland with overcast skies in background

St. Theodosius, after the fire. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

One of Cleveland's most recognizable churches was severely damaged in a fire Tuesday.

Why it matters: St. Theodosius Orthodox Cathedral, which opened in 1913 and remains a visual icon in the Tremont neighborhood, was featured prominently in the 1978 film "The Deer Hunter."

What happened: The fire started "for unknown reasons" on the roof of the cathedral Tuesday at about 3:30pm, according to a Facebook post by priest Jan Cizmar.

  • Cleveland firefighters arrived, and church staff and neighbors began removing holy objects to preserve them.
  • No one was injured.

Between the lines: Though the church structure remains intact, the interior sustained significant water damage.

The latest: The Orthodox Archbishop of the Midwest, Daniel Brum, was in town Wednesday to inspect the Cathedral and lead a prayer service.

  • Church pews and roof debris were being cleared by construction crews throughout the day, Axios observed.

Flashback: The St. Theodosius parish was founded in 1896 by Russian immigrants living on Cleveland's south side.


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