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A 12th century norman church in Maiden Newton has been badly damaged by fire.
Four crews from Maiden Newton, Dorchester, Beaminster and the aerial ladder platform from Yeovil are in attendance at St Mary's Church, where a passer by noticed smoke issuing from the roof of the church.
Incident Commander, Steve Underhill, said:
"The east chancel roof of the church was billowing smoke when crews first arrived. They quickly set to work stripping the roof of burning material and awaited the keyholder to prevent any damage to the original 12th Century Norman door and hinges. Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus were able to gain access when the keyholder arrived a short time later and also began fighting the fire from inside the church.
This is a beautiful old church dating back centuries but crew have worked really hard to save as much of it as possible. We do not believe the cause to be malicious but fire investigation will take place when it is safe to do so. The most likely cause is some sort of electrical fault and the electricity board have been informed."