VIDEO: Fire tears through 171-year-old church in Lebanon

Bethel AME Church in Lebanon (Facebook)
Bethel AME Church in Lebanon (Facebook)

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - A  two-alarm fire tore through a 171-year-old church in Lebanon Wednesday morning.

Several fire departments responded to reports of a working fire at Bethel AME Church on North Cherry Street just after 4 a.m., according to Lebanon police dispatchers.

Shortly after crews arrived, they reported the second floor had just collapsed.

Initially, fire officials said they thought the fire began in the kitchen and announced that to reporters on scene covering the incident.

Later in the morning, they said in a prepared statement the cause is now believed to be electrical and likely started on the second floor sanctuary area, not the kitchen.

No injuries were reported, and the building was turned back over to church officials at 9 a.m.

The church was established in 1846, according to its Facebook page.

FOX19 NOW has a crew at the scene and will continue to update this story as information develops.

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