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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Multiple fire departments battle suspicious blaze that heavily damages Leesburg church

Multiple crews from three fire departments battled a suspicious blaze at a Leesburg church on Friday night.

Firefighters from multiple departments battled a questionable blaze Friday night at GraceWay Church in Leesburg.

Firefighters from Leesburg, Eustis and Tavares responded to the 7:40 p.m. blaze in the youth building at GraceWay Church, located at 10200 Morningside Drive. The first crews to arrive on scene found smoke coming from all of the building’s eaves and confirmed a working fire, a report says.

Due to the size of the structure, a second alarm was dispatched for more manpower. Leesburg firefighters entered the burning structure to perform a search after initial reports of possible entrapment. No victims were found and firefighters were able to quickly locate the blaze, bring it under control and extinguish it.

Damage is evident at GraceWay Church’s youth building after flames raced through the building on Friday night.

The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation. No injuries were reported.

A parishioner at the church, Debra O’Brien, posted on social media that she was told someone had broken into the church and started the fire after “trashing” several areas. Several others also reported that same information on various social media sites throughout the weekend.

Diane Heilborn also reported on Facebook that the church had recently been burglarized.

“This is such a shame,” she wrote. “It’s an awful feeling!”

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