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Heavy smoke damages midtown Greek Orthodox Church

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.kgun9.com/news/local/209308461.html Heavy smoke damages midtown Greek Orthodox Church By Justin Schecker, Cory Marshall CREATED May. 29, 2013 -
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2013
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      http://www.kgun9.com/news/local/209308461.html


      Heavy smoke damages midtown Greek Orthodox Church
      By Justin Schecker, Cory Marshall
      CREATED May. 29, 2013 - UPDATED: May. 29, 2013

      TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Tucson Fire Department responded to an overnight
      fire inside the Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Wednesday.
      The church, which is home to the popular Tucson Greek Festival in the
      fall, is located near Mountain and Ft. Lowell.

      Fire investigators have now determined that the fire was caused by a
      candle that was left unattended on the altar, according to Baker.

      Captain Barrett Baker tells KGUN9 that there is heavy smoke damage
      inside the building. The flames died down quickly, he said, because
      there was a lack of oxygen inside the building.

      "A good majority of the time when you see that heavy smoke there's
      oxygen involved as well and you see the heavy flames to go with it, in
      this case I would say it is a little bit rare," Baker said.

      Tucson police initially responded to the scene after the church's alarm
      went off at around midnight. They confirmed there was heavy smoke coming
      out of the building and Tucson firefighters arrived about fifteen
      minutes later.

      By 1:00 a.m., Baker said the fire went out on its own, but not before it
      caused approximately $1 million in damages.

      City building inspectors say the church is now condemned. No one was in
      the church at the time of the fire.

      A makeshift church setup is already in place. In fact, church members
      gathered for an impromptu service Wednesday morning amid clean up.

      "I cried this morning because the church was burnt and then I started
      crying again because all of you showed up and took days off," Father
      Earl Cantos told his congregation during the makeshift morning service.
      Church members say the community has turned up by the dozens, offering
      to help in any way they can.
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