Fire at NJ church ruled not suspicious

November 24, 2009 1:44:12 PM PST
No foul play is suspected in a fire at a church and school in New Jersey.The fire, which started late Monday night, re-ignited Tuesday morning at the Good Shephard Episcopal Church on Godwin Avenue in Midland Park.

Firefighters from several communities responded.

The fire raged from the roof for a second time after the flames reignited. The fire prompted a quick reponse from the members of the volunteer fire department, many of whom had been at the scene earlier battling a four-alarm blaze.

The fire originally began around 11 p.m. Monday, sending thick black smoke in the sky. Some 75 firefighters worked well into the early morning trying to bring it under control. They were able to save the main sanctuary and many valuable religious items.

The blaze began just a few hours after a meeting in the church involving recovering alcoholics. Investigators were on the scene trying to determine the cause, and initially called it suspicious, but later said no foul play was believed to be involved.

The Little Ivy Learning Center rents a building from the church, but suffered only minor damage. However, it is closed for the time being.

No injuries were reported.


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