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Motivated by anger, arsonist destroys a churchcomment (0)

March 2, 2000


HIXSON, Tenn. — A man who was angry with his father burned down the church where his father was pastor in 1998, according to arson investigators.

Steve Nichols, 37, of Maryville, Tenn., was indicted Feb. 22 with one count of arson. Investigators said Nichols set the fire that destroyed Hixson Baptist Church, where his father, Bill Nichols, was the pastor, with damage estimated at $130,000.

Lt. Robert Lackey, with Chattanooga’s Fire Investigation Division, said the younger Nichols confessed to being angry with his father in committing the crime.

Nichols told investigators he poured fuel on his father’s desk in the church office, set it on fire, then closed the door and left the building, according to a report in the Chattanooga Times & Free Press.

Nichols was released on a $13,000 bond. Nichol’s father resigned from the pulpit a few weeks after the fire and moved away.
 

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