Calhoun County has lost a landmark. A fire on Christmas Eve destroyed St. Mary's Church in Brussels. There are no reports of injuries, but fire crews reportedly responded to the church after the Christmas Eve Mass, and then returned a few hours later to the larger fire. The preliminary speculation by emergency officials is that the fire may have been caused by an electrical problem.

Six surrounding volunteer fire departments responded to the scene of a small fire after 6pm Saturday, but were called back around 9:45pm when the first fire rekindled and crews battled it throughout the evening and into the morning hours on Christmas Day. Several witnesses say many of the items from within the church, including the tabernacle and many statues, were saved. The church and parish date back to the mid 1800's and has been the home of many popular community gatherings including the annual church picnic.


(Photos for Alton Daily