The St. John Lutheran Church in Schwer was a complete loss yesterday after a fire broke out shortly be fore 1:00pm. According to Milford Fire Department Chief, Frank Hines, the Milford Fire Department received a phone call from I-COM at 12:46pm after multiple calls were made reporting smoke from the roof and flames coming out the windows at the church located at 1812 E 1130 N Rd in rural Milford.
Hines said a funeral had been held at the church that morning and people were still present when the fire broke out and was reported, but by the time the fire department arrived on the scene everyone had been evacuated safely. Within a few minutes, Hines reported a box alarm fire calling for assistance of man power, equipment and tanker trucks. Assistance was received by Woodland, Wellington, Stockland, Watseka, Hoopeston, Cissna Park, Crescent City, IMH Ambulance and Mowrey Auction Co. Hines said they returned to the fire station around 8pm last night. The body of the church was complete loss, but they were able to save the fellowship hall and parish hall both suffered smoke and water damage.