The flames could be seen for miles. The back draft injures two firefighters.
St. John's Lutheran Church has been around for over 125 years. 700 parishioners belong to the church and most gathered Monday night to watch their memories burn. At about 4:45 p.m. smoke started pouring out of St. John's Lutheran church. Fire crews began scanning the smoking church. That's when the roof blew off. Flames were seen for miles, soaring 30 to 40 feet in the air.
About 70 firefighters, EMT, and Police all have specific jobs. Police secure a 5-block perimeter. Firefighters from 10 departments take turns battling the blaze and the chill.
Parishioners and community members huddle in shock some sing songs of hope. St. Johns Pastor Don Phelps stepped out of his role as Chaplain and let others guide him.
One firefighter was flown to Rockford Memorial Hospital with a leg injury. He's currently undergoing surgery. The other was sent to Kishwaukee Memorial Hospital with burns to his hands. He's been treated and released.