YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The St. Vincent DePaul Society’s dining hall at St. Cyril and Methodius Church is closed until further notice after a boiler exploded in the church’s basement.
“It was a huge bang and it shook the windows and it really just startled everybody, enough to walk outside. So it was very loud,” said St. Vincent DePaul Executive Director Jessica Anthony.
When the boiler system exploded Thursday afternoon, it caused some panic.
Anthony said it malfunctioned, causing natural gas to build up and finally explode.
“It took the boiler into pieces. It affects us quite a bit though, because the entire building is run on gas, with cooking and our heating system,” Anthony said.
So, the dining hall can’t operate and is currently closed.
Prout Boiler went to repair the boiler, so now it is up and running.
But, the dining hall is still waiting for inspection before it can resume normal services.
Anthony said her biggest concern was making sure everyone was safe and no one was injured.
“Thankfully, our volunteers had walked out just 30 minutes before all of this occurred. It could’ve been way worse, so we were definitely counting our blessings,” she said.
Anthony said it is not stopping her from serving the community.
“This is our second family. This is our home and we are here for the community no matter what day it is. I want them to know that even in the face of emergencies, they face emergencies every single day. We are lucky enough only to face them once in a while,” she said.
The dining hall is expected to reopen within one week.
Anthony said they are still in need of food and monetary donations for the upcoming holidays.