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Gas tank blamed for explosion, fire that destroyed church

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DUNN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - An LP gas tank is being blamed for an explosion and fire that destroyed a nearly 100-year-old church in western Wisconsin.

Investigators said they found nothing suspicious about the gas explosion, which occurred Saturday night at St. John’s Lutheran Church about 10 miles north of Colfax.

A passer-by called Dunn County deputies after seeing the front of the church pushed to the ground, and broken glass covering a highway.

According to Chippewa Valley Newspapers, a woman noticed an odor while doing cleaning work earlier on Saturday – but she passed it off as being from new construction at the site.

Church Council president Bruce Winget thought the odor might have been exhaust blown in from a vent pipe.

For now, St. John’s is holding its services at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in nearby Ridgeland. Winget said other churches have offered space as well. 

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