Fire Destroys Historic Trinity Church

MILWAUKEE — Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, the oldest Lutheran church in Milwaukee and the second-oldest Missouri Synod Congregation in Wisconsin, was reduced to a shell after being engulfed by flames Tuesday afternoon.

Pastor Hunter Hofmann confirmed there was construction work being done on the roof of the church, near North 9th Street and West Highland Avenue, when fire broke out.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded by immigrants from Pomerania, Germany in 1847.

Milwaukee firefighters were called to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church near the corner of West Highland Avenue and North 9th Street. The blaze quickly escalated to 2nd and 4th alarms, Assistant Milwaukee Fire Chief Brian Smith said.

About 85 firefighters were called to battle the blaze, and though no damage estimates were available the fire was large enough to damage the building’s structural integrity, Smith said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but it broke out as workers on scaffolding were performing maintenance on the building. There were no injuries.

The Victorian Gothic church, stood near the Pabst Brewery complex, was built in 1878 and is one of the oldest in the city. It is a state and Milwaukee landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Authorities have advised those in the area that Highland Avenue and State Street are shut down, as well as 9th and 18th streets. Those travelling in the area are warned to avoid the area and find an alternative route. It is unknown if there were any injuries due to the blaze at the time of publishing.

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