SELINSGROVE, SNYDER COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Snyder County church community is dealing with heartbreaking news just days before Easter Sunday as a fire has damaged their place of worship.
Fire crews battled a fire a the Salem Lutheran Church in Selinsgrove. Crews were called to the scene around 10:00 a.m. Monday morning for a fire in the basement of the church.
“Made a very good stop, minimize the damage to the rest of the church, a fire was mainly contained to the sanctuary and the basement,” stated Brandon Ulrich, fire chief at Dauntless Hook & Ladder Fire Co.
With Easter Sunday just days away, services will not able to be held at the church during the Easter holiday.
“The church isn’t the building. The church is the people and this is a wonderful strong community, and we will work together to be together,” said Stina Schaeffer, pastor at Salem Lutheran Church.
Pastor Schaeffer, who was in the building at the time of the fire, made the call to first responders. Despite the fire, she says she’s grateful no one was hurt.
“We are so grateful that everyone is OK. People can’t be replaced. Things can,” added Pastor Schaeffer.
As for where and how Easter service will be held, Pastor Schaeffer is still unsure. The pastor tells Eyewitness News that she received seven offers to join other churches for Easter.
The pastor and co-council president are both hopeful that they will overcome this tragedy.
“I think we’re gonna get through it. We’re a strong congregation. We’re a team. It’s just a building, you got a remember,” said Neil Klinger, co-counsel president of Salem Lutheran Church
Fire officials have yet to determine an official cause of the fire.