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(Ottumwa)— A church on the city’s south side was damaged by fire early Friday morning.

The Ottumwa Fire Department received a call from a passer-by shortly after 4:00 a.m. of a fire at the 1st Church of God on Sherwood Drive located off of Quincy Avenue.

The passer-by told the fire department smoke could be seen coming from the roof of the church.

When firemen arrived on the scene fire was seen coming from the roof. Assistant Fire Chief Kory Benge says the fire started from an electric wire that run to a sign inside the church.

The church received a lot of smoke damage but little fire damage. Benge said the fire could have been a lot worse had the passer-by not called the fire department.