Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Fires At Four More Alabama Churches

Four more Baptist churches were hit by an arsonist during the night last night. Two of the churches were wood structures and completely demolished. The other two were brick structures, and sustained considerable damage inside. It appears that the fires were started within the church, near the altar, just like the ones that were burned last week.

Authorities say there is a link between the fires of last week and this week, and all were started by an arsonist. They are looking for two men possibly in a dark SUV.

Authorities cited similarities among the nine blazes: All occurred early in the morning, the fires were at or near the altars of the churches and all of the churches were in remote locations.

One difference in the church fires this time was the fact that two were on main roads. Two were also brick structures. The investigators think the arsonist was trying to throw them off.

Agents investigating the five Bibb County fires said Tuesday that they were looking for a dark-colored sport-utility vehicle in connection with the blazes.

Members of Old Union Baptist Church in Brierfield told The Associated Press in interviews that they saw a dark Nissan Pathfinder near the building as they arrived to put out a fire shortly after 4 a.m. Friday.

Alabama has had 59 church fires in the past 5 years. 19 of those fires were ruled as arson.

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