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Heartbreak as ‘Suspicious’ Fire Destroys Historic Church

Last edited 27th May 2018

Heartbreak as ‘Suspicious’ Fire Destroys Historic Church

Emergency services responded to reports of the blaze at about 5am and found the 87-year-old Lismore Diocese Church of St Paul’s well alight.

The building was mostly destroyed as a result, leaving locals to find only its charred remains on the site where they would normally attend Sunday Mass.

"The place was burning ferociously. We did try and put it out but it was too far gone by the time we got there. We couldn’t achieve anything," said Darly Watt, captain of the Glenreagh Fire Brigade.

"The community is very shocked by all this. A lot of locals were christened and married there and attended the church. It’s a very small, tight-knit town of about 400 to 500 people, so the town is almost heartbroken at present.

"It’s going to take a while to sink in."

Glenreagh’s St Paul’s Catholic Church was originally opened in May 1931. It is expected that what remains of the structure will have to be pulled down due to the extensive damage.

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Originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald

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