Western New Yorkers Come Together Following Major Church Fire
Seeing a church on fire can shake you, no matter what your religion. Many people view a church on fire as a symbol that people are losing faith in religion and humanity as a whole, and to see the church on fire in Elma over the weekend gave many of us that similar pit in the stomach as you would feel when you’re at the top of roller coaster expecting the drop.
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The fire occurred on Saturday afternoon in Elma, and neighbors reported seeing flames shoot out of the steeple.
Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church on Main Street in Elma caught fire around 2:30 PM. To make matters worse, there was a problem with the fire hydrant in front of the church which delayed putting the fire out (according to News 4).
Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the fire.
While the fire is still under investigation, it is worth noting that just a day before, a post was made via the Saint Paul's Lutheran Church Facebook page that said "our steeple is getting a facelift."
We'll have to wait until they complete the investigation before we get a more solidified answer to the cause of the fire.
Fire Departments That Helped Stop The Fire
The church posted on their Facebook page, thanking the volunteer fire departments from East Seneca, Blossom, Lancaster, Jamison Road, and Union Road. These fire departments made efforts to save invaluable pieces of history from the altar, including the cross and a few other items.
When Was The Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church Built?
Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church first opened their doors in 1862. The fire throughout the sanctuary, making it a total loss.
The church shared some wise words on Facebook, though, that some of us may forget: “Our place of worship isn’t a building but in our hearts. God’s love cannot be contained.”
The congregation was able to meet at an alternative location on Sunday at Ebenezer United Church of Christ in West Seneca, and there was quite a turnout, proving that “a devastating fire will not break us,” St. Paul’s Lutheran Church wrote on Facebook.