Church fire looks like arson - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Church fire looks like arson

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July 12, 2007

Americus  --  A morning fire at Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Americus is believed to be arson. About eight thirty Thursday morning, a cleaning lady at the church found a back room of the church filled with smoke and called 911.

Damage to the room was minimal, and the priest wants his congregation to know services will carry on as usual this weekend.

Fire Safety Commissioner John Oxendine says he won't put up with church arsons. "We do need your help, anybody that would set fire to any house of worship we consider to be an extreme risk to the community."

"We will have all four masses this weekend. We will use the Parrish hall simply because it will take a while to get the church clean and the odor out, but all four masses will be regular time, just in the hall," said Father Clif of Saint Mary's Catholic Church

Investigators are looking into three other churches and one former church that were vandalized last night to see if all of the incidents are related. The other three churches are Calvary Episcopal, Central Baptist, and First United Methodist.

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