"It's a loss for this city:" Community members react after devastating church fire

NOW: “It’s a loss for this city:“ Community members react after devastating church fire

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Many community members are devastated after a fire at a historic church.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is a shell of what it was just earlier in the day and what its looked like since the 1800s. History was damaged in the fire, a fact not lost on the people of Milwaukee. 

"It is a loss for this city. It is a huge loss." Jesse Marshall attended Mother's Day services at the church just a few days prior. "I'm just so shocked right now. It's a small congregation. Everybody loves each other, everyone's on top of each other. We talk and pray together. It's a family," said Marshall.

The one-alarm fire quickly turned to three and four with nearly 100 firefighters at one point working to save what they could.

Mayor Tom Barrett was one of the many onlookers near 9th and Highland, surveying the damage.

"It hurts to see something this old, this iconic destroyed by fire," the Mayor said.

Trinity Lutheran has stood in the same spot since 1878. The church was named to the National Register of Historic Places just over 100 years later. 

"It's a truly amazing church on the inside and the outside," Mayor Barrett said.

"It's one of the churches that was the foundation for Milwaukee so when all the Germans were coming here, this was the place they built to show they were going to stay here and build a community here," Marshall said.

Jesse Marshall says the congregation will rebuild and return from the difficult day stronger

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