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Anniston fire ruled as arsoncomment (0)

September 28, 2000

A Sept. 15 fire that destroyed most of First Baptist Church, Anniston, has been ruled as arson. The State Fire Marshal’s Office announced Sept. 19 that a joint investigation by their department and the Anniston Fire and Police Departments had ruled the fire was deliberately set. Investigators said they had also determined the church was burglarized prior to the fire being set.

Investigators said they do not plan to release any further information until there are new developments in the case.

Pastor Richard b. Flood said the fire began in the church offices located near the rear of the sanctuary. In addition to the sanctuary and offices, Flood said Sunday School classes on the second floor were also destroyed.

The flood also affected the church’s education building, which is located across from the sanctuary. Flood said damage that area was caused mainly by smoke and water used to fifth the water.

“Our building was gutted,” Flood said. “The outside looks fine, but the inside is terrible.”

Flood said the fire saw noticed by a police patrol around 11:18 p.m. Sept. 15, which reported the blaze to the Anniston Fire Department. The pastor said hot spots developed, which resulted in firefighters working until 4 p.m. Saturday.

“The smoke was so heavy, they couldn’t see what was going on,” Flood said.

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