Workers prepare to remove fire-damaged steeple - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Workers prepare to remove fire-damaged steeple

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Work on the College Street Congregational Church steeple began Friday.

A crane was brought in so workers could inspect and take down any loose tiles from the steeple.  They're also documenting details about the tiles, so their distinctive pattern can eventually be replicated. After all the tiles are removed the steeple will also be taken down.

"We're also engaging in planning with engineers and the architects and the contractor as to how we are going to take this down," said church member Jonathan Farrell. "Best guess is that it won't come down in one piece because of the extensive damage. We're going to have to figure out how to do that... ...and also when it comes down how we're going to document construction and all the dimensions so we have as much information about it as we can."

Police arrested Aliaksandr Bychkou, 32, at the scene.  He told police he heard voices telling him to go to the bell tower and look for treasure. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a detainer on Bychkou. Following the resolution of his state criminal charges Bychkou will be turned over to the feds for possible deportation.

Sunday's services will now be moved to the First Congregational Church on South Winooski Avenue in Burlington for at least for the next two weeks.

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