Update: Electrical Problem Sparked Fire that Destroyed Syracuse Church

By: Andrea Flores Email
By: Andrea Flores Email

The State Fire Marshal's office said an electrical problem caused a fire that destroyed United Methodist Church in Syracuse.

Officials said the fire started in the attic of the sanctuary on Sunday, Jan. 5. The 102-year-old church, with a steady congregation over the years, will have to find a new place to worship.

Al Guenther says losing the church is like the end of an era.

"I was married in this church back in 1963," said Guenther. He says the Syracuse United Methodist Church is more than just a building for his family. He raised his sons in the church and can't believe it's gone.

"I know they would be interested to see the church they grew up in, so I'm here to take some pictures of it," said Guenther. "There's a lot of emotion, there's a lot of attachment, it's part of the past and I value that greatly."

Boy Scout leaders Jerel Katen and Terry Lange from Troop 337 were on their way into the church for a committee meeting when they discovered the smoke.

"Just as I was getting to the church, the Scout Master Jerel Katen was just coming out of the door, and he there was smoke in the church," said Lange.

These leaders were prepared, and tried to secure the area as quickly as possible. Lange says they were in the right place at the right time Sunday night, but now they're just hoping people in Syracuse will find another home away from home.

"You feel for the people of Syracuse, now where are the Congregation and the Pastor going to take their Sunday worship services to?"

While the church was a complete loss, the educational unit was protected from the blaze, but does have smoke and water damage.


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