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Church fire damage tops $1 million

VALLEY CITY - An early morning fire at a church here Monday caused upward of $1 million in damage.

The first 911 call of the blaze at Faith Lutheran Church came in at 3:41 a.m., said Gary Retterath, Valley City fire chief.

When he arrived at 251 4th St. N.E., there was fire and smoke coming out of the east side of the building, where its main entrance and some offices are, Retterath said.

"There was smoke and heat all over," he said.

With about 24 firefighters working, the fire was out in about four hours, he said.

Retterath remained on scene through the afternoon, assisting a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent and a state fire marshal with the investigation.

The cause of the fire was unknown Monday afternoon.

No one was at the church at the time of the fire, Retterath said.

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