Investigators Say Fire That Destroyed Weymouth, Massachusetts Church Accidental

WEYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) -- A fire that destroyed Sacred Heart Church in Weymouth last week has been determined to have been an accident, fire officials said Monday.

Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Weymouth Fire Chief Robert Leary, in a joint announcement, said the fire was started when an old refrigerator being used in the church's basement malfunctioned.

''I want to reassure the parishioners and the entire Weymouth community that this was an accidental fire and there is absolutely no reason to suspect foul play,'' Leary said.

The seven-alarm blaze broke out in the basement of the church last Thursday and quickly engulfed the brick structure, a landmark in the Weymouth Landing neighborhood. The fire left the structure unstable, forcing its demolition.

Archbishop Sean O'Malley celebrated Mass with the parishioners on Sunday, in an auditorium next to where the 134-year-old church stood.

Parishioners say they want to rebuild, but are waiting for the archdiocese to approve the effort.

In his Sunday homily O'Malley said ''we pray that everyone will work hard and use our best wisdom to come up with the best plan for the future ... so that this will continue to be a strong parish and will be a strong parish in the future.''

But some parishioners are concerned that the archdiocese's ongoing financial problems will prevent it from supporting a rebuilding effort.

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