Flames burn through roof of Mesa church - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Flames burn through roof of Mesa church

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MESA, Ariz. - An east valley church that had been around for decades went up in flames Thursday and now most of the building is gutted.

The Mesa Fire Department is investigating what caused the blaze and they're looking into whether it was connected to the church's air conditioning units, electrical system or wiring.

The fire broke out shortly after 9 a.m. Flames shot through the roof.

Neighbors noticed helicopters overhead and sensed something was up.

"We were just in the backyard and saw they were stationary, so we went to see what was happening... it is sad.. it is really sad," said Kaylani Mavity, a neighbor.

It started with smoke in the attic, then spread quickly.  At its peak, 100 firefighters from cities around the east valley took part in the battle.

This building near Center and University holds a special place in the hearts of neighbors.

"My wedding dinner was held in this building.. I have been to plays and programs.." said Dottie Layton.

Tyler Montague has a lot of memories there.  He even helped put up the roof.

"That is where I went when I was a little boy.  My dad was the bishop. Sad to see it go."

That roof is now gone, along with much of what was inside.

The 60-year-old church was originally a Mormon church and was sold to the New Life Assembly of God in the 1980s.

The Mesa Fire Dept. has not given a dollar estimate, but is saying there was extensive damage.
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