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San Marcos: 'Cocos Fire' destroys portion of century-old church retreat


Last updated 5/17/2014 at Noon

The the Harmony Grove Spiritual Association, a century-old church retreat, lost 25 of its structures to the so-called Cocos Fire which burned in San Marcos and a nearby unincorporated area for a third consecutive day, county officials said today.

The 13-acre facility with 30 residences in addition to guest cabins remained evacuated Saturday as fire crews worked to extinguish smoldering embers, secure power lines and conduct safety assessments, according to the association's Facebook page. It could take up to a week for residents to be let back in.

Citing photos and broadcast reports, officials with the association said that among the buildings that were destroyed were the majority of Harmony Grove Spiritual Association residents' homes, association officials said. The Healing temple, a cabin and a few storage were believed to have been spared. Bungalows, offices, utility buildings and some homes along the perimeter of the grounds were also destroyed, according to NBC7.

About two dozen koi fish survived, the station reported.

Reverend April Cunningham, the association's president, told NBC7 that plans to rebuild were in the works.

"I've been seeing so much generosity, so much outreach, so much love come from this that how would you even know that existed unless these experiences happen?'' Cunningham said.


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