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Criminal Probe In Church Fire

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The Somers Congregational Church.  At right are the stairs that once led into the church.Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

The Somers Congregational Church. At right are the stairs that once led into the church.Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

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SOMERS, Conn. (AP) _ State police and local and state fire marshals are conducting a criminal investigation into a fire that destroyed a 19th century church in northern Connecticut.

The Hartford Courant and WFSB-TV report that state police say detectives are pursuing leads in their probe of the early Monday morning fire that gutted the Somers Congregational United Church of Christ. State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance was not specific.

Hundreds of congregants attended a Somers town hall auditorium across the street from the church Monday to pray, sing and make plans for the church. The Rev. Barry Cass said the organ is in pieces, forcing congregants to sing without it.

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

     (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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