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Northern Idaho tribal church destroyed in fire

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LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) – Members of a tribal church congregation in northern Idaho are mourning the loss of more than a century of religious history after their sanctuary burned down.

Corbett Wheeler, an elder at the Nez Perce Indian Northfork Presbyterian Church, said the congregation is still in shock after their Ahsahka building was destroyed in a fire Dec. 24.

Parishioners were only able to save a few Bibles and hymnals, while the church pulpit, pews, piano and just about everything else went up in flames. There were no known injuries.

Wheeler said he expects the congregation to rebuild on the site where the church was founded in 1890.

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Clearwater County Sheriff Chris Goetz said the blaze is still under investigation, but a wood stove appeared to have started the fire that engulfed the building.

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