Europe

Belgium fire: Blaze ravages historic church in Anzegem

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Media captionThe building had only recently been renovated on the outside and work was due to start on the interior

Fire has gutted a 12th Century church in the small Belgian town of Anzegem, bringing down the roof and tower in a blaze visible from miles away.

Choristers arriving for rehearsal at the West Flanders church were met by a cloud of smoke when they opened the door, Belgium's Nieuwsblad reports.

They were unable to control the fire on Thursday evening with extinguishers.

Emergency services suspect that a heater may have exploded inside the recently renovated church.

Dozens of people were evacuated from the area around the church of St John the Baptist, but were allowed home later on Thursday evening, Nieuwsblad adds.

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