- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. (AP) - A cigarette discarded in a plastic container caused the fire at a Mountlake Terrace church.

Fire District 1 Battalion Chief Jerry Sheehan says investigators determined the fire started at the back of the building where the plastic container was left smoldering. Police are investigating but it appears accidental.

Sheehan says damage to the Mount Zion Lutheran Church is estimated at $300,000.

Flames were shooting into the air when firefighters arrived about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday but they were able to contain the flames to an office area. The fire burned through the roof and caused smoke damage in the sanctuary.

No one was inside. Sheehan says one firefighter was examined at a hospital as a precaution after some ceiling material fell on his head.


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