More Churches Set On Fire - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/8/06-Boligee, AL.

More Churches Set On Fire

A federal official says investigators are working from the assumption that nine recent church fires in rural Alabama are linked.

Authorities say four Baptist churches were damaged overnight Tuesday near the Mississippi state line, about 10 to 20 miles from each other. All were in sparsely populated areas off rural roads, similar to five church fires that burned early Friday south of Birmingham.

 In one town, all that's left of the wood-framed Morning Star Baptist Church are the front steps and a handrail. A church member says he was alerted to the fire by a scchool bus driver and arrived to see smoke pouring out of the windows and flames near the pulpit.

 A spokesman for the agency that oversees fire investigations says Alabama has had 59 church fires in the past five years. Nineteen of those fires were ruled arsons.

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