Church community looks to rebuild after 107-year-old church damaged by fire
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A fire burned through a northeast Minneapolis church Monday night.
No one was hurt, but this leaves the entire Sacred Heart of Jesus Polish National Catholic Church community hurting, and the history of the church runs deep with many families in the area.
As fire burned quickly through the 107-year-old church Monday evening, forcing firefighters to fight it from the outside, daylight revealed the true destruction.
"It’s just heartbreaking, it’s so sad, said former parishioner Katherine Hogan.
Hogan’s family has worshipped at Sacred Heart of Jesus Polish National Catholic Church for decades.
"My grandparents who emigrated from Poland (got married here), my parents, my sister and were both married here, all the family baptisms, the first communions, confirmations, and then the funerals," Hogan said.
Hogan says she took the day off work, feeling compelled to be at the church to help out.
"I have to be here, I just I have to do this," she said.
Water still drips from the ceiling; there’s a huge hole in what was the roof as parishioners clean up trying to salvage what they can.
"We want to take some stuff from the church because the church has no roof and we want to save these items that are very important and meaningful to our lives," the Rev. John Kutek said.
Kutek came from Poland and has presided over the Polish Catholic church for almost three decades.
"This is a very sad situation, what we have right now because in my entire life, I have never experienced such things like this," Kutek said.
He says neighbors did recall seeing something suspicious Monday afternoon before the fire was spotted.
"Monday at noon somebody noticed that the front door was open and none of the (church) members was there," Kutek said.
As sacred statues and crosses that once adorned the altar are removed, there is a heavy feeling about what comes next.
"We are like lost sheep, but we will find a way," Kutek said.
Operation Safety Net is calling the fire suspicious and in an update Wednesday, the Minneapolis Fire Department said the cause of the fire is undetermined.
There is an online fundraising page for the church, to cover immediate and long-term costs as they look to rebuild.