Man Killed in Fire at 200-Year-Old Church

Police say one man was killed in a fire at a more than 200-year-old church in Grafton, New Hampshire.

Firefighters were called to the Peaceful Assembly Church about 11 a.m. Tuesday. They had to wait hours to go inside the church because of structural concerns. 

Firefighters found the body inside the church, which was built in 1798.

Officials said Wednesday that John Connell, 57, of Grafton, died in the fire. The cause of death was determined to be smoke inhalation. The Valley News reports that Connell bought the church in 2010 and had been living there. 

Connell had transferred ownership to a board of directors for the church, which has been involved in a years-long battle with the town over its religious tax exemption.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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