Services will continue for the members of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Edina as the congregation continues to clean up following Thursday's damaging fire.
Deacon Ken Berry says Mass will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday at the Knights of Columubs Hall in Edina.
The fire came as church members had been working to renovate the building in recent years, only to watch their efforts wiped out in an instant.
Edina Assistant Fire Chief Tom Morgret says the fire started in the sanctuary located in the southwest corner of the church, which is where the majority of the damage is. He said it appears the fire started in the ceiling and possibly in the light fixture.
Morgret says three members of the state fire marshal's office arrived on the scene around 5 p.m. Thursday and were on the scene until about 1 a.m. The investigators were back early Friday morning.
St. Joseph Catholic Church members were in shock at what they saw Thursday.
"This church is considered a community treasure not just to the catholic community here. It's just an asset to the entire community," said lifelong church member Larry Clark.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars recently went into restoring the building over the last four to five years, but before flames could destroy everything residents ran into the church to grab as many priceless items as possible.
"Some of the statuary that is quite valuable. And some of the other memorabilia from the church that's not replaceable. Everyone was willing to help anyway they could. Just everybody in the community whatever could be done," Clark said.
Firefighters fought through thick smoke to make sure hotspots were out before more flames could start again. Edina Fire Chief Martin Edwards said the church received heavy fire and water damage. Early on in the fight, Edwards was concerned the fire would cause the dome inside the church to collapse but now he's concerned with water damage.
"With the water damage that we have in the church right now I am concerned about the dome collapsing. If it does, it's going to be a heck of a mess. And we haven't gotten into it yet to see what type of damage we have in that area," Edwards said.
Those on the St. Joseph Church Board say the building is insured and after fire marshals and insurance adjusters know the full extent of the damage, they'll continue to renovate and rebuild their church.
Church members are encouraged to attend at nearby Catholic churches in Baring and Memphis. Saturday mass at the sister church, St. Aloysius in Baring, starts at 5:30 p.m.
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