Community Moving Forward After Church Fire

Paul Gutierrez

SYRACUSE, NE (KPTM) - The reality of a devastating fire that ripped through United Methodist Church this past weekend still hasn't set in for parts of the community.

"I was just in shock," said Terry Zimmers, a longtime member. "I just couldn't believe it."

The church, more than 100 years old and near the heart of downtown, burned down Sunday. Pictures taken at the scene showed just how bad it got.

"It was like a worst nightmare," said Zimmers. "I saw the firemen trying so desperately to save it."

Unfortunately for Zimmers and the more than 200 people who attend the church, firefighters couldn't get the upper hand on the flames until it was too late.

"My first concern was for them and what an awful, awful night it was to try to battle something like this."

Barricades and yellow tape still surrounded the building Wednesday and warning signs are keeping people away. There's not much to salvage, but that doesn't mean parishioners aren't optimistic for a brighter future.

"We're going to take one step at a time and just do it the right way," said Zimmers. "We as a congregation can be supportive and help each other get through this."

It's the kind of positive outlook Zimmers hopes soaks in the with the rest of the community.

As of Wednesday night, the exact cause of the fire had not yet been determined.