[PHOTO CREDITS: Marilyn M. Aceigo]
[Original Publish Date: 01/10/20]
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LEESBURG, Florida — A fire at a local church closed a popular roadway for more than two hours Friday night; the roadway was just reopened minutes ago.
Lake County Fire Rescue, Eustis Fire Department, Tavares Fire Department, Leesburg Fire Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to the fire at GraceWay Church, 10200 Morningside Drive, Leesburg near Radio Road.
The call came in at 7:39 p.m., according to LCSO Sergeant Fred Jones. “It wasn’t a fully engulfed situation,” he said.
The fire was in the GraceWay Grounds cafe and the amount of damage was unknown at press time.
LCSO Cpl. Brian Forst was on scene and told Lake Legal News LCSO is also investigating a burglary in the main chapel. “We’re too early [in the investigation] to know if it’s related.
The church is closed on Fridays, and the last time anyone was in the main chapel was around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has been called in to investigate, which is standard when a church is involved, Forst said. The Lake County Fire Marshall is also investigating, he said.
The fire and burglary remain under investigation.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]