Fire destroys Wood County church - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Fire destroys Wood County church

Posted: Updated: Aug 26, 2014 05:55 PM
RUDOLPH (WAOW) – Smoke and flames ripped through a central Wisconsin church Tuesday, causing destruction. The early morning church fire has left a Wood County community wondering what to do next.

It happened Tuesday morning at the Moravian church in Rudolph on Main Street.

Investigators say the fire was concentrated in the church's roof, but they don't know how it started.

No one was inside at the time.

Reverend Christine Stack, the church's pastor, says she immediately threw on some clothes and went over when she got a phone call about the fire.

"When the first crew got here, there was heavy smoke coming out of the top of the church," said Rudolph Fire Chief Tony Konkol.

Emergency crews got the blaze under control, but not before the building took extensive damage.

"I started coming to this church as a young girl and I took adult baptism here," said Bonnie Nuber of Sigel. "My three children were baptized here and my three grandchildren were baptized here."

"It's more than a building," said Lorrayne Voight of Rudolph. "It's got lots of memories."

Voight has been a part of the church since 1956. She says she has some thinking to do.

"I don't know, it just takes a part away from me," she said.

However, not all was lost.

"The entire time they were fighting the fire, there was a small cross on the very peak of the church, which never got burnt," Stack said.

Church leaders say the cross is a symbol that will now rally the congregation.

"It reminds us that we're Christians, that we'll stand together, that we can get through this," said Stack.

"We'll find a way to turn the ashes into something better and new hope and we'll go on from there," Nuber said.

Church members say they're more than just a congregation, they're family.

"We've been through a lot of tough times together and we'll get through this," said Nuber.

A member of the congregation says they've already made plans for Sunday. They'll join their sister Moravian church in Kellner.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but officials don't believe there was any foul play.
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