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Fire Destroys Most Of Church Where Napoleon’s Josephine Christened

October 13, 1994

FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique (AP) _ A fire destroyed the nave and sacristy of a 273-year-old church where Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife, Josephine, was baptized.

The blaze broke out Tuesday evening in the church, in Trois-Ilets across a bay from Fort-de-France, the capital city of this French Caribbean island.

The Rev. Alain Ransay said the fire could have started in the electric consoles which control the lighting and bells. ″We have lost all the liturgical heritage of the church,″ Ransay said.

Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie, who was born in Trois-Ilets, married Napoleon in 1763 and became empress of France in 1804.

The church, built in 1721, was designated an historic monument in 1991.

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