Lightning suspected in Tuscaloosa church fire

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – Authorities believe lightning is to blame for a fire that destroyed a church in Tuscaloosa.

Unity Baptist Church caught fire late Monday, with flames spreading so quickly the roof of the sanctuary collapsed.

Officials say the building is probably a total loss, although an educational structure may be saved.

PHOTOS: Unity Baptist Church fire

Battalion Chief Quinton Brown of the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service says lightning apparently struck the roof of the church, causing the blaze.

Pastor Gene Dockery says members had installed new carpet, painted and added padding to the pews before the blaze. It’s unclear where members will meet now.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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