BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A local church near Bloomington is rising from the ashes following a large fire Monday.
Victory Church caught fire Monday just before noon and left crews busy for almost nine hours, resulting in extensive damage to the building.
Despite the fire destroying the church’s building in what’s most likely a total loss; church leaders said they’re not going away, saying they’ll still be around to serve the community.
Smoke, flames and water caused extensive damage both inside and out at Victory Church.
“Upstairs is our youth room and all that has been consumed by fire and there’s water and smoke damage all throughout the building,” said Executive Pastor, Jarrod Herald.
Now, churches across town and Illinois are offering Victory Church support and prayers.
“[There have been] 10 to 15 just in Bloomington-Normal that have reached out to us, that have offered their building, volunteers, whatever it needs to be,” Herald said.
The fire broke out Monday just before noon, taking nine hours and 15 different fire crews to extinguish, including Downs, Bloomington Fire, and Normal Fire.
“We all work off the same command system and we all have similar terminology so it’s worked pretty well,” said public information officer, Eric Davison with the Bloomington Fire Department.
The frigid cold temps and no nearby fire hydrants posed unique challenges to firefighters on scene. Crews had to shuttle water back and forth from the nearest hydrant, a mile away.
“We don’t have hydrants right here so we’re were getting water down at Evans Jr High and bringing it here, then they put it in these big tanks to get water,” Davison said. “Crews are trained on this a lot, they’re really efficient.”
Although Victory Church’s building is in shambles, all services will go on as scheduled according to Herald.
“The church building is just where we worship. It’s where we facilitate various ministry needs, but I am the church, believers are the church, and that can happen anywhere,” Herald said.
Herald said the church hopes to be a part of Bloomington-Normal’s faith community for many more decades.
“All in all, we’re going to rebuild. Victory is going to rebuild right there at that location and better and bigger. We’re going to continue to make an impact on our community. We’re still planning on reaching people for Jesus,” Herald said.
Church leaders are meeting in the next few days to finalize a temporary location for services and are thankful no one was hurt as a result of the fire.