Historic East Birmingham Church Burnsdown

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A fire tjat broke out during a service at the historic Woodlawn United Methodist Church has destroyed the
building, which was constructed in 1912.

A firefighter suffered a minor injury when a piece of debris fell on his shoulder while fighting the blaze, which started around 1:30 p.m. Sunday. About 14 people were inside at the time.

Pastor Marge Ragona said members of Bethel Metropolitan Community Church, who use the sanctuary for worship Sunday afternoons, had just started Communion when they smelled smoke. Everyone safely evacuated.

Birmingham Fire Chief Ivor Brooks said the fire was coming up the stairwell from the basement. Authorities are investigating the cause.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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