The Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene is a historic landmark here in Rochester.
Director of Friends of Historic Two Saints, Larry Steffler, said the fire at Notre Dame hit close to home. He said he believes churches are symbols of solidarity, peace, and prosperity to communities. Some may say Two Saints is to Rochester as Notre Dame is to Paris.
“When any historic building like that is destroyed we lose a lot. We lose the artifacts, we lose the spirit we lose the feeling of compatibility with the folks around you,” Steffler said.
The church was built in 1824– which was back when the city of Rochester was still called Genessee Falls. Its history runs deep- and Larry said the thought of losing any of that as Notre Dame did is heartbreaking.
“All the wood in the ceilings would probably collapse. I don’t even really want to think about it,” Steffler said.
Henrietta fire chief, Mark Strzyzynski, said the same thing about what happened to Notre Dame.
“Those buildings are built like fortresses so I’m assuming as long as the walls are standing they’re good. Once the wood starts burning away that’s when you tend to get your collapses,” he said.
The chief is choosing to look on the bright side of what happened.
“There was no civilian loss of life and then the firefighters they had to put in peril and they brought them all home safely, as a fire chief I consider that a win.”
Strzyzynski said he’s never fought a fire in such a historic building as Notre Dame, and Steffler hopes he never has to.