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Swedish stake center is damaged by fire

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GOTEBORG, Sweden — Fire caused extensive damage to the Goteborg Sweden Stake Center the early morning of Dec. 30.

Neighbors noticed smoke coming from the meetinghouse about 2 a.m. Stake spokesman Jens Aman said up to 35 firefighters worked until 6 a.m to extinguish the blaze.

Brother Aman said police interviewed neighbors and found that during the night some had heard several people testing fireworks in preparation for New Year's Eve celebrating. "The most probable scenario is that a large fireworks fragment landed on the roof of the building (which was covered with 1-2 decimeters of snow), and not only melted the snow, but unfortunately ignited the roof and started the fire," he said.

He added that there were no threats against the Church and police have ruled out arson.

Portions of the building, located at Backegardsgatan 25, sustained extensive damage from fire and water, though the chapel, cultural hall and bishop's office are undamaged, Brother Aman said.