TOLLESON, AZ - Fire officials said a Friday morning blaze in a Mormon church appears to be suspicious at first glance.
Flames first broke out shortly before 3 a.m. at an LDS church near 95th Avenue and Van Buren Street.
Tolleson and Phoenix crews seemed to put the flames out quickly, however they re-ignited shortly after 3 a.m., and quickly consumed the sanctuary and the south side of the nearly 50-year-old church.
As the flames grew out of control, firefighters were ordered out of the building for safety just before the roof collapsed.
Pieces of the brick facade and flaming debris fell from the church as two ladder trucks led a water assault from the air.
Fire units from Tolleson, Avondale, Glendale, Phoenix and Goodyear responded.
Four hours after the fire began, water was still being hurled down upon the sanctuary to ensure all hot spots had been extinguished.
No injuries were reported.
Thomas Mangan with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said the cause of the fire has not been determined as of Friday afternoon.
ATF is investigating the fire along with the Tolleson fire and police departments.
Members of the ATF’s National Response Team will be arriving over the weekend to begin processing the fire scene to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.
It is normal protocol for ATF to be contacted any time there is a fire that involves a house of worship, according to the ATF.
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