Investigators from the state fire marshal’s office are in the western Iowa town of Defiance where an overnight blaze destroyed the Methodist church. Harlan Fire Chief Roger Bissen says it was a difficult fire to fight and the structure was well-engulfed when crews arrived. Firefighters from Defiance, Dunlap, Earling, Harlan and Irwin battled the blaze, which started at around midnight. Chief Bissen says the church couldn’t be saved, as he said they had to haul in water, as there wasn’t enough water in the town. The fire was mostly out by 5 A.M., but firefighters remain on the scene this morning battling hot spots. Bissen says there wasn’t enough water in town, so firefighters had to haul water to the scene from Irwin, Earling and Westphalia. He says the Fire Marshal’s findings could be released by the end of the day.
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