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Sunday morning fire guts west-side Wichita church

A fire early Sunday morning heavily damaged the Berean Baptist Church on North Hoover Road. (Aug. 23, 2015)
A fire early Sunday morning heavily damaged the Berean Baptist Church on North Hoover Road. (Aug. 23, 2015) The Wichita Eagle

Wichita fire crews continued to monitor the scene of a Sunday fire at the Berean Baptist Church, near 13th and Zoo Boulevard.

Only the brick walls and part of the roof remained after the church was reported engulfed in flames shortly after 3:30 a.m. Sunday, according to a Wichita fire official. The church, at 1230 N. Hoover Road, can be seen from I-235 between Central and Zoo Boulevard.

“After the first crews arrived, they found heavy fire and went into a defensive mode,” said Battalion Chief Frank Buck of the Wichita Fire Department. “The fire was fought from aerial devices and four engine trucks.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Buck said, although thunderstorms with heavy lightning swept the area shortly before the fire was reported.

“More than three-fourths of the roof is gone,” Buck said. “When crews arrived, half of the roof was already reported gone. It had burned quite a while before anybody called it in.”

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