Fire damages structures at sect's Texas compound

Associated Press/December 29, 2008

Clyde, Texas - A fire has burned four structures at the compound of a Texas sect whose leader is accused of performing polygamous weddings.

Firefighters in the town of Clyde say the cause of Monday's blaze at the House of Yahweh compound is unknown. No injuries were reported.

Fire Chief Billy Dezern tells the Abilene Reporter-News in its online edition that firefighters kept the blaze from spreading. A few vehicles were also burned.

The compound covers more than 40 acres near Abilene. Sect leader and self-proclaimed prophet Yisrayl (YIZ'-rah-yel) Hawkins is accused of having more than 20 wives and performing the weddings.

He faces trial next year.

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