Somers Church Destroyed by Fire Reopens on Christmas Eve

By Abbey Niezgoda
|  Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013  |  Updated 12:49 AM EDT
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Fire destroyed the church on New Year's Day 2012 and parishioners will be back inside tonight for the first time since that day.

Fire destroyed the church on New Year's Day 2012 and parishioners will be back inside tonight for the first time since that day.

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A Somers church destroyed by fire nearly two years ago, reopened just in time for Christmas Eve services.

The Congregational Church on Main Street burned to the ground on January 1, 2012.

Parishioners have been going to services at a temporary location ever since the fire. At 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, they held their first service since it burned to the ground.

“It’s going to be an emotional day, an emotional night for all of us,” church moderator Anne Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick still remembers the fire. She pulled up just as the first fire engine did.

“It was difficult watching the steeple collapse into the church,” she said.

While the cause of the blaze is still under investigation, the community has rallied behind the church, raising more than $1 million in donations.

Insurance covered most of the damage, but in order to bring the building up to code, they had to move the church a few feet back from the road, and that changed the footprint. Insurance does not cover any changes or upgrades.

Once it is done, parishioners say it will look just like it did before it burned, complete with the same number of windows.

“I think they’ll be a lot of tears because we are finally home, which reminds me I should probably put out a box of tissues,” Senior Deacon JoAnn Hornyak said.

The Christmas Eve services were held downstairs in the Foundation Room of the Congregational Church because the sanctuary is still under construction. They hope to have it completely rebuilt in April, just in time for Easter services.

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