Boy Scout troop picks up the pieces after losing everything - KCTV5

Boy Scout troop picks up the pieces after losing everything in fire

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Investigators released the cause of the two-alarm fire at the Westport Presbyterian Church.

Friday afternoon, they announced the cause has been ruled accidental and was sparked when crews were installing an A/C unit on the roof. The estimated damages to the church have been placed between $3 and $4 million. There were no injuries to people or firefighters.

The church has stood for over 100 years and, in its ashes, are so many memories from its members. The church's basement was the headquarters for Boy Scout Troop 60, and troop leaders are left wondering what remains from a century's worth of work.

"That stuff is irreplaceable and this church has sponsored our troop for 98 1/2 years now," said Scout Master Michael Swanson.

Life lessons come in all shapes and sizes. For Troop 60 Life Scout Zachary Nolan, his Eagle project went up in flames in the devastating Westport Presbyterian Church fire.

"I was mainly concerned about my project because that's, that's basically going to jumpstart my life and my military career," he said.

A blood drive scheduled for Jan. 3 intended to bring much needed blood donors to the church and the Boy Scout's highest honor of Eagle Scout to Nolan's resume. But the young man is learning to adapt in what is one of his final scouting lessons.

"It is a setback because I mean, I've been coming to the church for a couple of years, and you can get kind of attached, but it's an opportunity because it actually benefits my cause," said Nolan.

The Community Blood Center has stepped up to host the drive for Nolan and Troop 60. Meanwhile, the troop is left without equipment worth more than $3,000.

"But that's, that's not the sad part; the sad part is we got the pictures and memorabilia from way back in the 20s hanging on the walls down there," said Swanson.

As they've done for a century now, parishioners and scouts are working side by side to clean up because dealing with adversity is another lesson Nolan said is most fully learned through experience.

"Any support that the area and the community could give means a lot," said Nolan.

The blood drive is being held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 3.

Anyone who would like to help with donations for the troop's equipment can make them in the name of "Troop 60 Fund" to the Heart of America Council.

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