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Mormon Inquiry

It happened on Sunday. The historic and picturesque LDS chapel near Harvard University caught fire about 10:30 a.m. and burned for two hours. Here’s from the initial story at the Boston Globe:

Mormons around the country today are grieving the destruction of a well-known LDS meetinghouse in Cambridge that many encountered as grad students at Harvard or MIT. The meetinghouse, in Longfellow Park, caught fire this morning, while local Mormons were gathered there to watch the satellite broadcast of a meeting being held in Salt Lake City. Everyone was safely evacuated, and the cause of the fire is unknown.

I heard via personal contacts that the folks from the Quaker meeting house across the street were very helpful during the commotion and crisis. Thank you, Friends.

A more detailed report the following day (with a nice photo gallery) gives some indication of the magnitude of the blaze:

Fire departments from nearby Belmont, Somerville, Waltham, and Watertown provided assistance, Reardon said. The fire, which required 22 engines, seven ladder companies, and about 80 firefighters to extinguish, finally died out about 1 p.m.

Is it just me, or have there been an unusual number of fire-related stories about LDS chapels lately? For example, “Arson suspected in LDS chapel fire” concerning a fire at a Utah church last week. Perhaps it is simply that the higher news profile of the LDS Church causes some stories to make the wire that might have been just local stories a few years ago.

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