Over-the-Rhine soup kitchen catches fire

Posted at 7:18 AM, Oct 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-05 07:18:12-04

CINCINNATI – The city's oldest soup kitchen was damaged by fire Sunday night. 

A heating unit on the roof of St. Francis Seraph Church, where the Over-the-Rhine soup kitchen is located, caused the fire, according to Cincinnati fire crews.

No one was inside at the time, said Brother Tim Sucher with St. Francis. 

"I was sitting in my room and just smelled the smoke billowing in and I thought I better get upstairs and see what's going on," he said. "We're lucky because one of our buildings is right next door, butts up against that."

The amount of damage to the kitchen wasn’t immediately clear. The OTR kitchen at the corner of Liberty and Vine streets was established in 1976 and serves thousands of people each year.

Brother Sucher said the kitchen is typically closed on Mondays and that will give the organization time to assess damage and clean up.

The kitchen's stated mission is "to help alleviate hunger in our community by serving the poor in an environment of respect, care and hospitality," according to its website.