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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will rebuild its Western Samoa temple that burned to the ground last week.
The Apia Samoa Temple will be rebuilt utilizing a more recent temple design, the church's First Presidency announced Wednesday.
The temple burned July 9. Three fire trucks and more than 100 volunteers battled the flames, but fire engulfed the entire 14,000-square-foot building within 45 minutes.
Originally dedicated in 1983, the temple was undergoing expansion and renovation with rededication planned for later this year.
To complete a new 16,000 square-foot temple will require about six months of detailed planning with an 18- to 24-month construction period to follow.
The Apia Samoa Temple is one of 115 temples throughout the world and serves American Samoa and the islands of Upolu and Savai'i.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)