Fire Guts More Than 100-Year-Old Alexandria, Virginia Church

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Fire gutted a church that was started by freed slaves 120 years ago.

Flames erupted after 4 a.m. Monday in the Laurel Grove Baptist Church located in the 6800 block of Beulah Street.

The blaze caused about $1 million in damages, said Lt. Raul Castillo, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department spokesman. Castillo said strong winds helped fuel the flames.

Water that was being sprayed on the burning building froze and two firefighters slipped on the ice. They suffered minor injuries, Castillo said.

``This is a devastating situation,'' said Pastor Reverend Edward Young. ``I am sure that we will rebuild.''

Investigators were trying to determine a cause.

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