Fire destroys North Bend, Ore., church

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Associated Press

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 11:00 AM

NORTH BEND, Ore. (AP) — Fire has destroyed a church in the Oregon coastal city of North Bend.

Firefighters from North Bend and nearby Coos Bay responded Tuesday to the blaze at the First United Methodist Church on Meade Street.

Pastor Jerry Steele tells The World newspaper (http://is.gd/qTUVPy ) that with all the damage inside, the building "is a complete loss." Still, he adds, "The church is the people."

He says the fire marshal will begin investigating the cause on Wednesday.

Houses behind the church were briefly evacuated.

Church secretary Pat Kerkow was alone in the building when the fire started. She says she saw flames shooting "eight feet in the air" from the back wall of the sanctuary. She dialed 911 and got out. No one was injured.

Steele says the church will rebuild.

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Information from: The World, http://www.theworldlink.com

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