South Side church destroyed in early morning fire

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CHICAGO — A South Side church is expected to be a total loss after a massive fire.

The blaze broke out just before 3 a.m. Thursday at the Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist church, near 59th and State Street in the Washington Park neighborhood.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

The pastor's son told WGN a bible study session at the church was canceled just hours earlier. In an interview with Reporter Nancy Loo, he became emotional talking about his childhood church —that is now destroyed.

The family who runs the church said the furnace was left on to prevent the building's pipes from freezing, and they wonder if the furnace is to blame for the fire.

The Chicago Fire Department said no one was injured in the fire.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

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