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February 20, 2013

Sifting through the ashes

DUNCAN —  

Much like the Wall of Jericho, the walls of Foursquare Gospel Church came tumbling down.
An investigation into Monday’s fire at the church on Fifth and Pine, continued Tuesday with Duncan Police Det. John Byers and State Fire Marshal associate Judah Shepherd taking lead.
“We’re following gas lines, looking at the gas furnace,” Byers said. “That’s where we’re starting. If we don’t find it (the cause) there, we’ll move onto electric.
“We’re trying to eliminate each step. We’re looking at the fire pattern.”
Byers said, from talking with witnesses and first arrival firefighters, the blaze appeared to have started in the front room of the building, where the gas furnace and gas water heater were located.
He said the investigation would focus on this area unless it is determined otherwise.
“It’s going to take us some time,” Byers said. “We were here until about 8 o’clock last night (Monday). We’ll be here until we’re done.”
The fire spurred all Duncan firefighters into action just after 10:30 a.m. Monday when it happened. Numerous other area fire departments and police officers responded to assist. 
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Foursquare Gospel was founded in August 2001, when 13 people met in the home of Owen and Hazel Clark. By May 2005, the congregation had grown, and the church program moved into the location at Fifth and Pine. Previously, the building had been home to the First Assembly of God and also Cornerstone Assembly of God.
On Feb. 3, Foursquare had its last service in that church building before moving to a new location.
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Duncan Deputy Fire Chief Dayton Burnside said he isn’t sure how much the building was insured for but estimated the loss of the structure, which didn’t have contents inside, to be about $300,000. He said the investigation into the church fire is still ongoing, but there are hopes to find a resolution soon.

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