'Sadness comes with joy:' 1 year after fire destroyed chapel at Camp Vista, there are plans to rebuild

CAMPBELLSPORT -- Fire destroyed a chapel at Camp Vista in the Township of Osceola in Fond du Lac County on Oct. 24, 2018. More than a year later, on Monday, Nov. 4, FOX6 News learned more about the plans to rebuild the chapel in the footprint of the old one.

Fire incinerated the main chapel at Camp Vista, but camp leaders remained positive, hopeful a new place of worship would soon rise from the ashes.

"When you need something and don't have it, time runs slower," said Andrew Fidziukiewicz, camp president.

A passerby called in the fire around 5 a.m. Oct. 24, 2018 after spotting flames coming from a wooded area. Cellphone video showed the wood-framed structure engulfed in flames. The main chapel, an approximately 50-foot by 80-foot building was a total loss.

"Very terrible news," said Fidziukiewicz. "We didn't know what to do. That was one of the worst mornings in my life."

The former chapel served as a space for education, prayer, reflection, and worship.

"The sadness comes with joy because we are going to rebuild the place," said Fidziukiewicz.

FOX6's cameras on Monday captured crews clearing land to prepare for construction. This, as we got a look at renderings of the new planned structure, built in the same location as the old one. It wasn't likely materials would be able to be salvaged from the blackened chapel.

"It's hard to think about the loss that we had because the chapel that we lost, we just loved," said Fidziukiewicz.

The fire that took their chapel wasn't strong enough to take their faith.

"After the bad things, after the night, after the thunderstorms, we always see the sun," said Fidziukiewicz.

Camp officials said electrical issues may have played a role in the fire, but more than a year later, the cause remained unclear.

Meanwhile, officials set a goal of opening the new chapel by December 2020, just in time for Christmas.