Former church destroyed by blaze; fireworks possibly the cause

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BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say fireworks could be the cause of a blaze that destroyed a former church and the house next door in Battle Ground, Washington.

The Columbian reports that Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue was dispatched around 2:24 a.m. Monday to the old Cherry Grove Church after a neighbor called to report he’d heard an explosion.

When crews arrived, they found flames in the steeple and attic of the church, according to Fire Chief John Nohr.

Crews couldn’t get onto the property or inside the church to extinguish the flames because of heavy clutter in the surrounding yard, including hundreds of mannequins.

The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office recovered video that appears to show someone driving up to the old church and shooting something flammable at the building, potentially fireworks.

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