UPDATE: $5,000 reward for church fire info leading to arrest - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

UPDATE: $5,000 reward for church fire info leading to arrest

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

UPDATE 01-18-2010: ATF is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. Contact the City of Tyler or ATF if you have any information.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - For the second time in two days, a Tyler church is reduced to ashes in a fire. Around 6:30 Sunday evening, 911 dispatchers received a call of a fire at First Church of Christ Scientist on East Second Street.

Broadway was a log-jam of emergency vehicles and onlookers as huge flames shot out of the church.

"We had to get the lines on the ground everywhere," says Tyler Fire Chief Neil Franklin. "At some point, we started looking at protecting exposures [to] make sure that's not going to spread to the trees - to someone else's property."

Two ladder companies and a half-dozen trucks poured huge amounts of water on the flames as firefighters scrambled to hit it from all sides.

"You worry about, too, the other houses around, if there was anybody in the church at the time, if anyone is hurt among firefighters," says neighbor Kelly Wade.

Within 30 minutes the crews had made a difference, but the building was gutted.

"We've got to find out the cause no matter what," says Franklin.

The fact that yet another church burned, left many un-nerved.

"Its really devastating to know all these churches are burning around here and Tyler," says neighbor Aaron Davlin.

Fire officials say no one was at the church at the time, but put out a word of warning.

"I would ask that all the churches in this city just, because of the uniqueness of this, that they be vigilant and just watch their things," Franklin says.

The city of Tyler along with ATF are urging churches to monitor their facilities and urging citizens to report any suspicious activity to the Tyler Police Department at (903) 531-1000.

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