Parishioners organize Polish fundraiser to demolish damaged church in northeast Minneapolis
In April, the building burned down and was partially destroyed, including the roof which collapsed. No one was hurt, but the community was suffering.
“It’s just heartbreaking, it’s so sad,” former parishioner Katherine Hogan said a few days after the fire.
Initially, church members hoped to rebuild, but Minneapolis city inspectors ordered it to be demolished due to safety concerns.
The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the arson, but has not arrested anyone.
There is a $ 5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case and there is a person of interest whose photo has been released by federal investigators.
“Surveillance footage shows an individual who was present in the area at the time when smoke started to escape from the church,” said ATF deputy special agent in charge, Jeff Reed. “We believe this person has valuable information related to this fire, and we are looking to the public to help us identify the individual.”
Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact ATF using one of the following methods:
Michael Kutek, whose father has resided as pastor of the Sacred Heart for 25 years, said the church had already been “heavily affected” by the COVID-19 pandemic.
âMy father and mother immigrated to the United States from Poland in 1991 and have poured their hearts into this church ever since,â he shared online. “We hope the Minneapolis community can help us come together and recover from this loss quickly.”
There is a GoFundMe for the church here. To date, over $ 36,000 has been raised.