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Blaze destroys former church near Wellsville

Firefighters from nine companies battled a raging blaze Saturday afternoon that destroyed a former church near Wellsville, Allegany County fire officials reported.

Volunteers from Willing responded to the former Stannards United Methodist Church, 3339 Hallsport Road (Route 248) about 5 p.m. Photos from the scene showed the roof and the steeple fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to a nearby residence, fire officials said. The church was closed about a year ago due to dwindling attendance.

Willing firefighters were joined at the scene by volunteers from Wellsville, Whitesville, Scio and Genesee. Tankers from Allentown, Andover and Belmont also responded, according to reports. The cause is under investigation.

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