Fire destroys basement of Norwood church

Investigators say a fire tore through the basement of the Lutheran Church of Epiphany Saturday morning, destroying much of the facility where community programs are held.

According to fire officials, the flames began on a basement couch in the 80-year-old Norwood church around 9 a.m. Neighbors saw the fire and alerted the fire department, which responded in time to preserve the sanctuary and confine the damage to the lower level.

Fire officials say six firefighters were taken to a local hospital for minor injuries after battling the blaze. The programs normally held out of the church basement, like food pantry programs to feed the homeless and elderly, along with tutoring, fitness and drug prevention programs, have all been suspended.

Members of the church say nearby parishes have offered space to temporarily house their programs. Fire officials say the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

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