Foreman Larry Cape of Gateway Water Proofing power washes the church's brick walls with water. In areas that sustained heavy smoke damage, Cape has used a restoration cleaner. (Photo courtesy KATHIE BASSETT, The Telegraph)
BRUSSELS, Ill. (AP) - Parishioners at a southwestern Illinois church destroyed in a Christmas Eve fire last year are working to repair the historic building.
The Telegraph in Alton reports that construction crews arrived at St. Mary's Catholic Church after Thanksgiving and started clearing rubble. The church is in the small community of Brussels which is about 30 miles north of St. Louis.
Last year parishioners vowed to rebuild the 1860s church.
Fire officials say it was an electrical fire. Parishioners were able to save some statues and books, among other things.
Church officials say watching crews work on the church is gratifying and gives them hope.
The first phase of construction will involve putting on a new roof, laying floors and installing doors and windows. It's expected to cost about $750,000.
Information from: The Telegraph, http://www.thetelegraph.com
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