Due to fire, LDS church members gather in Avondale

AVONDALE, AZ - Instead of their usual morning start time, members of the Tolleson LDS Church gathered a little later than normal this Sunday after a fire last week burned their church to the ground.

"It's a house of God," said Richard Clift, a member of the Tolleson LDS Church. "To see it burn down and to know how long it had been there, that was shocking and hurt a little bit."

The fire broke out at the Tolleson LDS Church around 2:30 Friday morning.

By the time firefighters doused the flames, the fire had completely destroyed the sanctuary leaving church members without a place to worship.

"A building is just a building," said Margayle Jones, a member of the Tolleson LDS Church. "It's near and dear to our hearts and we love our church but life goes on."

When the LDS Church in nearby Avondale learned of the fire, they opened their doors.

Sunday, the church near 107th Avenue and Indian School Road gave their neighbors from Tolleson a place to pray and will on Sundays in the weeks and months to come.

"It's not surprising," said Jones. "You find that a lot in the LDS community. We fully expected them to be kind. It's not surprising."

And while the LDS Church hasn't made an official announcement, its members made it clear that they want to see their old building rebuilt as soon as possible.

"We're going to rebuild," said Clift. "We'll all get together and laugh and joke and play with the kids as usual."

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