Community Holds Strong After Fire | VideoMichelle San Miguel | 10/21/2012
Bucyrus Lutheran Church has been welcoming parishioners for more than a century, but even faithful churchgoers in this community of about 20 will say this was no ordinary Sunday.
"Except for maybe Christmas and Easter, we don`t pack in all the pews like this. This was amazing to see barely any spaces left and usually we`re a lot smaller worshipping group than that so it means so much I think to everybody how many people came today," said Pastor Stephanie Swanson.
About 70 people crammed into the church to give thanks, just days after a wildfire destroyed much of the town, but took no lives.
"Honestly, this is the first time I`ve ever been in that church and that was just the most wonderful service. It was so nice of them to first of all to do it for the people here but then to invite us to come," said Pat Krug, who grew up in Bucyrus.
Krug grew up in the home right next to the church. Up until last Wednesday it was still home to his parents.
Swanson said, "The fire was such an unpredictable thing. The winds were so high that they had to scramble to try and keep up with it and just where it hit and where it didn`t is just a wonder to me."
The smell of smoke still permeates through Bucyrus, as smoldering stacks of memories wait to be picked up. Among the rubble is Cindy Werlinger`s family barn.
"We`re so blessed that it didn`t take our home and my dad`s elevator and the two things that he really needs to run the farm. And the cattle are fine. And most of all you know we`re fine," said Werlinger, who grew up in Bucyrus.
They know the road ahead will be a long one, but this close-knit community is finding strength in each other.
A relief fund has been established to help those in Bucyrus. Donations can be sent to Dakota Plains Federal Credit Union. 221 Main Street, P.O. Box 1020 Hettinger, ND 58639
The account is under Bucyrus, North Dakota Disaster Relief Fund.