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Oconto Co. church ravaged by arson begins to rebuild

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KLONDIKE, WI (WTAQ) - A northeast Wisconsin church that was heavily damaged by fire in March is getting its own second birth at Christmas.

Repairs are about halfway complete at the Klondike Community Church in Oconto County.

Volunteer Don Holtger tells Fox 11 that the goal is to get the steeple up by the end of the year. He says the steeple is an exact replica one of that burned in the spring – and an identical cross will go up at the altar.

The repairs cost around $700,000.

Building owner Theresa Schaut says money is tight – but lots of folks have donated their time and materials, and progress is being made slowly but surely.

Christmas Eve services will be held in the basement of the nearly 100-year-old church.

Prosecutors said 28-year-old Drew Christensen admitted setting the church fire and five others in the region. He has only been charged with setting two smaller fires in Oconto County, and the status of those cases will be reviewed in mid-February.

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