Church damaged by deadly fire expected to reopen by Christmas

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UNION CITY -

A Union City church badly damaged by a fire that killed a 1-year-old is expected to reopen in time for Christmas.

Saints Joseph and Michael Church in Union City was badly damaged by the March 2017 fire. The steeple fell off and there was massive damage to the sanctuary. 

Robert Dilorio says that he grew up worshiping in the nearly 120-year-old church. He says that he and other parishioners were devastated by what happened.

“It was a heartbreaking moment for not only myself, but for the community,” he says.

RELATED: Union City church damaged by fire to be rebuilt
RELATED: Child killed, 16 people hurt in Union City fire

The congregation has held services elsewhere during ongoing reconstruction. Father Aro Nathan says that strong faith has kept the congregation going during this trying time.

“This is a real time of hope and joy and gratitude,” he says.

The reconstruction will cost about $6 million according to the archdiocese. Services are expected to resume by Dec. 15.

Two men pleaded guilty to charges relating to the fire, including the father of the 1-year-old who was killed.

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