St. Charles faces another disaster, but hopes to rebuildby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Charles mayor Bill Spitzer says he's hoping an historic church that was destroyed by fire over the weekend can be rebuilt. A blaze demolished the 106-year-old church in the small Southeast Minnesota town just weeks after another fire burned a meat plant there.
St. Paul, Minn. — No one was inside the church at the time and there were no injuries. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known. Spitzer says the congregation is hopeful that they will be able to rebuild.
"Of course we would like to have something rebuilt; it's a piece of our community; it's a piece of our history and we hate to lose that in our community," Spitzer said. "So we are hoping that they decide to rebuild, whether it's on that site or somewhere else, we are just hopeful that it will be rebuilt in some manner."
Officials said the roof of the sanctuary was destroyed. Smoke and water damaged much of the building and its contents, but firefighters were able to salvage some items, including the cross from the altar, candlesticks, a portrait of Jesus, scrapbooks and hymnals.
Spitzer said congregation members were shocked to hear about another fire.
"The community was disappointed that we are faced with another tragedy, but it's like any disaster: a disaster is an opportunity for growth," he said. "We are going to take it as an opportunity and make something positive out of a negative occurance that happened."
The congregation had been planning a 150-year celebration for August. The church serves about 30 members.