WAKEFIELD (WBZ-AM) -- The Wakefield community is mourning the loss of the 150-year-old First Baptist Church, decimated by flames after an apparent lightning strike Tuesday night.
Many residents and drivers passing through the area Wednesday morning told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz that the iconic steeple is gone. The church was home to a private preschool, and also hosted community events. Those who grew up seeing the landmark are devastated that a piece of their hometown is now a total loss.
"It's just really sad," said one resident. "It's like the lake--like, it's part of Wakefield. You think of Wakefield, you think of the lake, you think of other things, you think of that church."
"It's been there forever, it's a staple of the town," said another.
Many stopped by to take photos of the steeple.
The church has released a statement thanking all of the firefighters involved, and the community for the outpouring of support.
"We know that we serve a God who specializes in restoring brokenness and who can bring beauty even from ashes," the statement read. "So we move into the future with trust, hope, and gratitude."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds for the church to rebuild, and can be found here.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz (@BerniceWBZ) reports