By: Jenn Schanz
It's been a Syracuse staple for more than a hundred years, but after an unexpected blaze Sunday night, officials say the United Methodist Church is a total loss.
"It was a symbol of our community and it's a devastation. We lost a historical landmark here in Syracuse," says Mayor Tomas "KC" Ortiz.
The fire happened on one of the coldest nights of the year. Fire crews say by the time they got there, the attic was already engulfed in flames. Thankfully, no was one hurt.
The water that fire crews used to put out the flames quickly froze, turning the entire area into a thick sheet of ice. Still, people flock to take pictures of the church they say, was the center of the community.
"It's very emotional. I've been a member of this church for several years and it's...just you know, so heartbreaking," says Brenda Anderson.
Al Geunther also showed up. He wanted to take pictures of the church to remember a place he says, is very nostalgic to him.
"I was married in this church back in '63. It's an end of an era for me, a lot of memories go up in this," he says.
Fire investigators are still waiting until it's safe to enter the building before they can determine a cause. City officials say bringing down the east and west walls, which are still standing, will start off the demolition.
And congregation members say they're pulling together, and will keep the spirit of their church alive.
"At least everybody's safe. And it's a loss and a shock to all of us but we're going to move on," Anderson says.
There will be a meeting in Syracuse Wednesday at The Green Room starting at 7p.m. to discuss what's next for the church and its members. The meeting is open to the public.