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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fire Damages Old Church

Fire damaged a former city church building this morning.

The blaze was reported shortly after 8 a.m. on Ora Street at the former Ora Street Church of God, off South French Broad Avenue.

No one was injured, Asheville Fire Department Battalion Chief Jimmy Cowan said at the scene.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which started in the back of the small church. “It was out within five minutes after we got here,” Cowan said.

Jeff Tracz, an investigator with the Asheville-Buncombe Arson Task Force, said a dropped cigarette that fell on a couch caused the blaze.

A man who was in the building doing renovation work had left a lit cigarette near the couch, and it fell onto a cushion, Tracz said.

No charges will be filed, he said.

The building suffered some damage, but Tracz could not provide a monetary estimate.

The building was no longer being used as a church.