- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

BENWOOD, W.Va. (AP) - The rectory at St. John Catholic Church in Benwood will be razed with the fire-gutted sanctuary.

That decision was announced Friday by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston after an engineering review, according to media reports.

Fire raged at the church March 30.

Church officials fear the demolition work could affect the nearby Saints James and John School. Students are now attending St. Francis Xavier School in Moundsville.

Diocesan officials previously announced the church was unstable and would need to be removed. A new church and rectory will rise at the same location.

The state Fire Marshal’s office has determined the origin of the fire was in a rear roof area. The cause has not been determined, but arson is not suspected.

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