NEW INFORMATION: Fire damages Eau Claire church

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A congregation still in shock, as community members and firefighters sift through what is left of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ.

“The fire department had been called around 1:20 A.M. One of the neighbors saw the building on fire and called it in. The fire department said part of the roof had already collapsed, even when they had arrived,” says Pastor David Huber.

The fellowship hall, kitchen and offices ruined, but Pastor Huber says there was one space that was saved.

“The sanctuary was saved. Firefighters did a phenomenal job. They really worked hard to make sure the fire didn't spread into the sanctuary,” says Pastor Huber.

Huber says there was one other important thing that made it out safe.

“The fireman brought the bible out about 4 A.M. this morning. They brought the pulpit out to me and the community table out and our baptismal font,” says Huber.

Battalion Chief Matt Jagger says no one was hurt or inside when the fire broke out.

“Upon arrival they did have heavy fire coming through the roof and a structural collapse of the roof. There was no life safety hazard at all and crews quickly contained the fire to the building of origin. The case is currently under investigation at this time. The estimated value of loss has been temporarily set at $300,000,”says Jagger.

Pastor Huber says there has been nothing but support from the community.

“It's been good to know that people care and are concerned and holding us in prayer,” says Huber.
There still are no plans as to if a service will be held anywhere this Sunday. Pastor Huber says the church is still in a state of shock, recovering and will decide later this week.

An Eau Claire area church has been badly damaged in a fire.

The Eau Claire Fire Department was called to Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ on Moholt Drive around 1 a.m. Thursday morning.

When our photographer arrived at the scene, flames were visible and heavy smoke was billowing from the back of the church.

The Department's Division Chief Brian Toonen says no one was hurt in the fire, but the flames were difficult to control because the church is a wood frame structure. There is a partial roof collapse and crews had trouble getting inside.

At this time, the extent of the damage has not been clearly determined. The cause of the fire is under investigation. We will keep updating this story as we receive more information.

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