Witnesses watch as Trinity Lutheran burns from the Milwaukee skyline

Witnesses watched in shock and sadness as the historic Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee went up in flames Tuesday afternoon.

The roof of the 140-year-old structure not standing a chance against the fast-moving flames.

“It didn’t even look serious but then quickly the winds started gusting,” said Jeff Peace who works nearby. 

David Robertson was working in the are when he heard a loud boom shortly before 4 p.m.  

“The big black column of smoke went across all the air,” said Robertson.

He’s now saddened by the loss.

“Me and my wife, on nice days we’ll walk past this house, it’s so beautiful… to see one of God’s houses go up in flames it’s sad,” he said. 

Many who stopped by had the same thoughts about the loss.

“I’m just thinking about the parishioners, a church is more than just a building, it’s part of the community,” said Peace.

The building which has stood the test of time for more than 140 years, now has an eerie reminder of today’s fire.

The clock atop the steeple stopped at 4:25 Tuesday afternoon, right when the fire reached the inner workings. 

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