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Starbuck loses United Church to fire

Firefighters aim a stream of water towards the flames breaking through the roof of the United Church in Starbuck.

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Firefighters aim a stream of water towards the flames breaking through the roof of the United Church in Starbuck. (RAYMOND MOLLOT / SUPPLIED PHOTO)

Starbuck’s 110-year-old United Church has been completely destroyed by fire this afternoon.

The blaze began shortly after lunch, and fire crews from the RM of Macdonald and neighbouring municipalities responded.

Homes on either side of the church were also damaged, but fire crews were able to stop the flames from consuming them.

It’s believed someone was burning leaves and a small shed caught fire. The blaze then spread to the little white church, built in 1904 in the town about 45 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

Tim Broten, who owns TB Tire & Son directly across the street, said by 2:15 p.m. only the tall peak of the entranceway was still standing.

Total damage has been estimated at $650,000.

"It went pretty fast," he said. "It’s burned down to nothing. It’s really too bad."

Broten said no one was injured.

"They got everyone out from the houses. Some of the siding on the houses got melted but they saved them both," he said.

A history of the church states it is the second time the church has had a fire. On Jan. 27, 1929 a small fire was quickly extinguished. Back then, repairs only cost $45 for new floor boards, paint, cleaning and refilling the fire extinguishers.

History

Updated on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 10:06 PM CDT:
Updates estimated damage

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