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Morrow County's Only Catholic Church Burns to Ground

CARDINGTON, Ohio (Ken Hines) -- Investigators are working to identify the cause of the fire that destroyed Morrow County's only Catholic on Thanksgiving morning.

A spokesperson for Cardington's Sacred Hearts Catholic Parish described his church as a "total loss" hours after an early morning fire burned the building to the ground.

"Not much left here at Sacred Hearts, just a couple of statues here out front that did survive," said parishioner Chuck Large.

Large said firefighters told him flames were shooting 40 feet in the air when they responded to the call around 4 a.m. Thursday.

Sacred Hearts had scheduled an 8:30 a.m. holiday mass that day, but no one was in the building when the fire broke out.

"We'll all feel the loss, but its a material loss," Large said. "No one was hurt."

Officials from four nearby churches have offered to provide Sacred Hearts parishioners with a place to worship.

"The parish is not the church building," Pastor Fr. John Bakle said. "We will continue to do the work of the church."

An investigator with the Ohio Fire Marshall's Office examined the remnants of the church on Thursday, and will do so again on Friday. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
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