Like Easter holiday, Rochester church moves forward in hope after fire

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Church pews at Peace Until Church of Christ were full Sunday morning, celebrating the resurrections of Jesus Christ. It’s one of the most joyous days on the Christian calendar. Monday morning, brought a different scene.

It Just hours after celebrating the Easter holiday, a fire broke out at a Rochester church, causing significant smoke damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the extent of the damage is still being assessed.

“We’ll rebuild, refurbish. We’re fortunate that there’s not a ton of structural damage,” Peace United Church of Christ congregant Brian Winters said. “There are parts of the church that will need to be repaired. But our first priority is making it safe people to be in here.”

The smoke damage is mainly on the north side of the building, where a Spanish immersion childcare center is held.

“That smoke can be toxic,” Rochester Fire Department Captain Caleb Fiene said. “It smells. It stains things. With smoke damage they are going to get that remedied and cleaned up. And that is going to take some time.”

“To come off a great celebration we had yesterday with Easter, it was so good to see everybody here and have a wonderful celebration. And then have it kind of dashed like something like this,” Winters said.

Peace United’s Sunday service was ‘hope grows here.’ It’s a message that Winters said he will carry forward as the church navigates the life after the fire.

“We’re gonna have to do a deep clean and evaluation of structural issues and let the hope grow from there,” he said.

Right now, the church and the daycare will remain closed until damages are determined.

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