"The fire broke out about 12:25 a.m. Sunday inside the church, 5960 W. Loomis Road, according to the Greendale Fire Department.From the newspaper account, the fire was confined to the sacristy, but there was extensive smoke and water damage.
"The state fire marshal's office was at the scene Sunday morning investigating the cause of the fire. The church held a Mass at 10 p.m. Saturday, and that would have been the last event inside the church until Sunday morning."
Update: Greendale's St. Alphonsus Catholic Church is back after fire, Crocker Stephenson reports in the New Year's Day edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Most of what our pastor is quoted as saying is from, or tracks, his remarks before the start of Mass on Saturday evening. These took about fifteen minutes, yet Mass still ended by around 6:00 p.m.. One time-saver was the virtual elimination of the long walks to, from, and around the sanctuary by lectors, servers, cantor, deacon, and celebrant (or presider, if you prefer).
"Aquinas" commented to the original post "I smell an opportunity to bring your 'worship space' into further compliance with the spirit of Vatican II. Let the funding campaigns begin!!" This was prescient, for as the article says "insurance is going to cover all the work done so far. That may change when work starts on the sanctuary, which was to be refurbished this year." So there is a fundraising campaign underway for this refurbishing of the church, or "worship space" as it is often referred to outside the context of fundraising. This is a third-envelope campaign, in addition to the usual donations to the operating budget, and the donations to pay the still-substantial debt from a building project of ten years ago.
Update 2: Dog is 'first responder' to St. Alphonsus fire