Fire Destroys 171-Year-Old Church in Western Massachusetts

January 20, 2010

Massachusetts authorities are trying to determine what caused a fire that destroyed the 171-year-old West Cummington Congregational Church in the Berkshires.

State Fire Marshall Stephen Coan said Monday officials see the Sunday blaze as a “single, stand-alone, devastating fire” in Cummington. But investigators have not determined if the cause was accidental or intentional.

Coan said the fire was reported shortly after 5 a.m. on Sunday morning by a motorist traveling on Route 9.

The historical structure served parishioners from Berkshire and Hampshire counties. The church had undergone several renovations in recent years including repairs to the foundation.

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