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Fire Destroys Somers Church

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SOMERS, Conn. (AP and WTIC Staff) _ Fire officials are investigating a fire that destroyed a 19th century church in northern Connecticut.

No injuries were reported in the early Monday morning fire that leveled the Somers Congregational United Church.

On the side of the building that faced Route 190, large white columns lay on the wreckage, and charred timbers were scattered across the steps that once led into the church.

The day after the fire, a prayer service was held at town hall, across the street.  Members of the church, and town residents from other faiths packed a large meeting room.  The crowd spilled out of the back doors of town hall.

Church Moderator Anne Kirkpatrick said the building was insured, and it will be rebuilt.

As smoke still wafted from part of the structure, an excavator lifted  blackened timbers out of the stone foundation, while fire investigators supervised.

WFSB-TV said firefighters were not alerted by smoke alarms connected to the Fire Department. That will be part of the investigation, which WFSB reports will also focus on the basement where the fire was believed to have started.

The sanctuary that burned was built in 1842. The church says its congregation dates to 1727.

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