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Fire rips through southeast Raleigh church; 2 firefighters sent to hospital

Posted June 3, 2015

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— Fire ripped through a church in southeast Raleigh early Wednesday, destroying several classrooms and causing heavy damage to the sanctuary.

Firefighters responded to Gethsemane Seventh-Day Adventist Church, at 2529 Sanderford Road, at about 3 a.m. after receiving a call from a passing driver.

About 50 firefighters responded to the scene, and two of them were taken to local hospitals. One firefighter was experiencing chest pains, and the other was hurt in a fall. Their names and conditions have not been released.

About 80 percent of the building was severely damaged by fire and water, investigators said. Captain P. Gaster said soldering pipes were responsible for the accidental fire. Crews brought the fire under control at about 4:30 a.m.

Church members at the scene Wednesday morning said the building has been undergoing some renovations.

"Tremendous loss," Billy Morris said. "We have been renovating our church for the last two years and this is a setback."

"We many not understand why. We have faith. We are a strong church family," member L'Tonya Jackson said. "We will move forward. We will rebuild and serve our community as best we can."

Members are meeting with contractors for plans to rebuild in the same spot.


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