Rochester (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester church was damaged by an early morning fire Monday.

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Crews responded to a commercial fire alarm at the Peace United Church in the 1500 block of 2nd Ave Northeast just after 2:00 a.m.

Officials said that crews entered the building and discovered a large amount of thick black smoke. Crews were able to find the fire in the downstairs level between the school and the sanctuary area and extinguished it. Firefighters then ventilated the smoke that had filled the building.

The Rochester Fire Department said that a fire sprinkler head had activated in the lower level of the church and helped control the fire. Although the fire was kept to a small area, there was a significant amount of smoke damage on both the main and lower levels. Nearly all parts of the large church and school had some smoke exposure and much of it will require remediation.

No damage estimate was given.

Officials said that had this building not been protected by an alarm system, the building likely would have sustained significant fire damage.

Nobody was in the church at the time of the incident.

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