Arson investigators search for cause of fire at Cedar Hill church

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by CARLA WADE

Bio | Email | Follow: @CarlaNWade

WFAA

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 2:06 PM

CEDAR HILL –– Arson investigators were called to the Graceland Community Baptist Church in Cedar Hill early Wednesday morning after a fire destroyed it. 

The church's sanctuary was reduced to ashes and most of the roof was burned and collapsed. Fire crews from Cedar Hill, DeSoto and Duncanville all responded to the fire at around 5:30 a.m. when an automatic alarm at the church went off.

Beverly Stricklin's husband is the church's pastor. She said they had been with the church about 20 years.   

"Yes, it's devastating." she said "But The Lord will bless us to rebuild again."  

Wednesday afternoon, an arson dog was brought in from San Antonio. The dog is specially trained to sniff out accelerants, but Cedar Hill Fire Chief John Ballard said rain may have hampered the dogs efforts.  

Ballard said the investigation is still in its early stages; how and where the fire started has not been determined yet. 

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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