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Westport Church Fire Remains Unsolved

WESTPORT, Conn. – Two months after the Nov. 20 blaze that devastated the rear of Westport's Saugatuck Congregational Church, the cause of the fire remains unknown and investigators are closing the case, Westport Fire Marshal Edward Zygmant announced Friday.

"After an extensive investigation by all entities involved, the cause of the Nov. 20, 2011 fire at Saugatuck Congregational Church is undetermined," Zygmant said in a statement. "Pending any new information, the file will be closed."

The fire was investigated by the Westport Fire Marshal's Office, the Westport Police Detective Bureau and the Connecticut State Fire Marshal's Office. Zygmant said a team of fire investigators from independent insurance companies also conducted their own investigation.

The six-alarm fire broke out in the rear of the 179-year-old church just before 10 p.m., Nov. 20, and was concentrated on the second and third levels. The most fire damage was to the choir loft and fellowship room, where portions of the roof collapsed. This, Zygmant said, hindered  both firefighting efforts and the investigation.

The first floor of the building, which includes Saugatuck Nursery School classrooms, sustained heavy water and smoke damage. The remainder of the church, including the sanctuary and new education wing, which were spared by flames, received water and smoke damage.

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