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Former Catholic rectory burns
Written by Jeff Wood   
Thursday, 21 June 2012 00:00

A plume of thick black smoke rose over North Willard Street from the site of the former Immaculate Conception Catholic Church next to Cottonwood Elementary School on Saturday, June 16.

Firefighters battle a blaze that consumed most of the rectory at the former Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Willard Street next to Cottonwood Elementary School on Saturday, June 16.The source of the smoke was a fire that destroyed most of the rectory building on the site.

The fire started in the 4,800-square-foot building before 5 p.m. on a hot afternoon and drew a response from the Cottonwood Fire Department and surrounding fire districts and other agencies.

Cottonwood Fire Marshal Rick Contreras said the Jerome Fire District, Clarkdale Fire District, Verde Valley Fire District, Sedona Fire District, U.S. Forest Service, Verde Valley Ambulance Co. and local utility companies all responded in a coordinated effort to contain the blaze in a “defensive attack” with “minor penetration” into the interior of the building.

Contreras said fire crews worked mostly from outside the building, after determining that there were most likely no victims inside the structure, in order to protect the health and safety of firefighters.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, June 20, edition of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


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