GRAFTON, N.H. (AP) — Police say a pastor was killed in a fire at a more than 200-year-old church in Grafton.

Firefighters were called to the Peaceful Assembly Church about 11 a.m. Tuesday. They had to wait hours to go inside because of structural concerns. The cause of the fire was unknown.

Firefighters eventually found the body of 57-year-old John Connell inside the church. They said he lived in an apartment on the property and died of smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

The Valley News reports that Connell bought the church in 2010. Connell had transferred ownership to a board of directors for the church, which has been involved in a years-long battle with the town over its religious tax exemption.



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