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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Fire damages 900-year-old church
Fire damaged church
The inside of the church was badly damaged
Five people have been arrested following a fire at a 900-year-old church in West Cumbria.

St Mary's Church in Abbeytown was substantially damaged in the fire, which began on Friday afternoon.

Flames spread to the roof, and at the height of the blaze 30 firefighters and five appliances from around the county were in attendance.

Cumbria police and the fire service are investigating the cause, and are appealing for witnesses.

A fire service spokesman said crews wearing breathing apparatus were able to fight the fire from inside when they first arrived, but had to be withdrawn when the roof became engulfed.

He added the shop adjoining the church had been saved, and they would be looking into the salvage situation later.

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