Local News

Authorities say fire has destroyed a landmark church in central Illinois.

Athens Fire Department spokesman Bob Dowell says firefighters battled the blaze for more than eight hours before they left the scene early Saturday. Dowell says the former Athens Christian Church was destroyed.

Several people lived at the church, which housed organizations and a thrift store.

There were no injuries reported.

The American Red Cross provided food, clothing and shelter to seven people.

Dowell says it's 1 of the largest fires in Athens in years. He says it's a landmark church that the community was sad to see go.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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