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Posted: 2/7/2006 9:24:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 9:31:37 AM EDT by Bama-Shooter]
4 more Alabama churches burn
Fire erupted at four more rural Alabama churches early this morning, less than a week after someone set fire to five Baptist churches in Bibb County.

Details are sketchy, but state and federal investigators have been dispatched to the sites, said Ragan Ingram, assistant commissioner of the Alabama Department of Insurance, the state agency that oversees fire investigations.

“We’re investigating as suspected arson, but we’ll see what happens,” Ingram said.

The churches and locations are: Dansby Baptist Church, south of Aliceville on Alabama 17; Spring Valley Baptist Church, near Emelle in Sumter County on Alabama 116; Morning Star Baptist Church, near Boligee in Greene County, on Greene County 20; and Galilee Baptist Church, near Panola in Sumter County.

Morning Star and Galilee were destroyed, said Jim Cavanaugh, regional director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The other two were heavily damaged.

Cavanaugh said authorities were notified of the latest fires about 6:30 a.m. ATF has pulled 25 more agents — some from Memphis and Chattanooga — to add to an investigative force already 150 strong.

The fires come just four days after five church arsons in Bibb County. Those fires occurred at Rehobeth Baptist Church in Randolph, Ashby Baptist Church and Old Union Baptist Church in Brierfield, Pleasant Sabine Church southeast of Centreville and Antioch Baptist Church in Antioch.

By Monday evening, authorities had 128 leads for investigators to look into.

Cavanaugh said the latest fires are suspected arson, but investigators haven’t determined whether they are connected to the blazes in Bibb County.

“It’s way to soon to tell,” Cavanaugh said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Carol Robinson


Alabama official says fires reported at four rural churches
2/7/2006, 11:47 a.m. CT
By JAY REEVES
The Associated Press


BOLIGEE, Ala. (AP) — A probe of rural church fires in Alabama spread Tuesday to four more houses of worship that were destroyed or damaged along country roads after five were set ablaze in arsons four days ago.
Investigators said the latest fires at four churches, all started overnight, were in a cluster in three rural counties about 60 miles west of the Bibb County area where five church arsons occurred early Friday.

The four were at west Alabama locations near the Mississippi line about 10 to 20 miles from each other. All were in sparsely populated areas off rural roads, similar to those in Bibb County, just south of Birmingham.

Ragan Ingram, a spokesman for the state insurance agency that oversees fire investigations, said it was too soon to say if there was any link between the fires reported Tuesday and those Friday.

He said the latest fires were at Dancy First Baptist Church off Highway 17 near Aliceville in Pickens County, Spring Valley Baptist Church off Highway 116 near Emelle and Gallilee Baptist in the Panola community, both in Sumter Country, and Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church near Boligee in Greene County.

He said Morning Star and Gallilee Baptist were destroyed, the other two damaged. State and federal fire investigators were sent to the scenes, he said.

"Obviously we're going to investigate these as suspected arsons," Ingram said.

At Boligee, Morning Star Baptist burned to its concrete block foundation. All that remained of the wood-frame building was the front steps and handrail. Firefighters were spraying down the smoking rubble.

Johnny Archibald, a church member who lives near the church, said he was alerted by a school bus driver and arrived about 6:45 a.m, just as smoke was pouring out of windows and flames were visible near the pulpit. He said it was clear the fire had been set.

"They had kicked the door in," he said. "Evidently they had set the pulpit on fire and went out the front door."

Archibald and another man used an ax to remove the kicked-in door for evidence. It had a footprint on it.

He said he immediately thought of the Bibb County church fires.

"I don't know what's going on. It's just sickness," he said.

All nine churches were Baptist, the dominant faith in the area. Four in Bibb County were members of the Southern Baptist Convention, while the other five were not.

The arsons in Bibb County destroyed three churches and left two others with fire damage.

Ingram said that in the past five years there have been 59 church fires in Alabama, including the four reported Tuesday. He said 19 were ruled arsons.

Agents investigating the Bibb County fire said Tuesday they were looking for a dark-colored sport-utility vehicle, possibly a Nissan Pathfinder, in connection with the blazes.

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

Ingram said earlier that investigators believe all five Bibb County fires were linked. He said they are pursuing several leads but "the leads haven't led us to a specific suspect or a motive."

The FBI is looking into whether the fires are a civil rights violation under laws covering attacks on religious property, said FBI Special Agent Raymond Zicarelli in Birmingham. State and federal rewards totaling $10,000 have been offered in the probe.

The state fire marshal's office, meanwhile, said a sixth fire that broke out at a church in rural Chilton County on Thursday afternoon before the Bibb County blazes had been determined to be accidental and unrelated to the arson cases.


Pop Quiz: Do you recognize the name of the ATF agent?



Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:29:33 AM EDT
Do these have any racial connection?

I remember them saying the previous 5 did not (some 'white', some 'black'), so that would seem to rule out the Klanners etc.


Bored idiot HS kids? Seems like the only people that would be caught driving a Pathfinder
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:31:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:
Do these have any racial connection?

I remember them saying the previous 5 did not (some 'white', some 'black'), so that would seem to rule out the Klanners etc.


Bored idiot HS kids? Seems like the only people that would be caught driving a Pathfinder



I heard on the news that a rash of church burnings took place during the same time last year.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:37:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

I heard on the news that a rash of church burnings took place during the same time last year.




That's kinda weird. Usually when things happen like that, with a time connection, it isn't just kids out for kicks.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:40:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 9:44:48 AM EDT by HardShell]

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
... Details are sketchy, but state and federal investigators have been dispatched to the sites, said Ragan Ingram, assistant commissioner of the Alabama Department of Insurance, the state agency that oversees fire investigations...



They're here in the building where I work. I walked in from the parking deck this morning with one of their older investigators and he was on his cellphone the entire time dispatching investigators, etc. - I figured just from his end that there had been more fires last night/this morning.

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:41:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

I heard on the news that a rash of church burnings took place during the same time last year.




That's kinda weird. Usually when things happen like that, with a time connection, it isn't just kids out for kicks.



I thought it was kids also at first.

Sounds like someone working a seasonal job or something along those lines.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 12:36:42 PM EDT
Bump for the question.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 12:48:15 PM EDT
Dick Cheney has a Weather Machine and a Fire Machine?!
Or is he just using an orbital laser?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:44:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 1:46:22 PM EDT by TRW]



I heard on the news that a rash of church burnings took place during the same time last year.



OK I guess I'm the only one noticing the emporers new clothes?

Is this somebody's sick way of celebrating black history month down there?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:51:25 PM EDT
Both BLACK and WHITE churches are being burned ... it doesn't look to be racially motivated.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:53:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:
Both BLACK and WHITE churches are being burned ... it doesn't look to be racially motivated.



The person appears to be just picking isolated churches. I don't think the demographics matter.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:56:51 PM EDT

Did Baptists publish any editorial cartoons in the last five months that might have offended anyone?


Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:00:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Did Baptists publish any editorial cartoons in the last five months that might have offended anyone?





That raises an interesting point, cartoon or not.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:01:29 PM EDT
Didn't this same thing happen a few years back?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:01:37 PM EDT
I bet it is a tolerant, diverse, and anti-violence oriented person/s. Liberals of some stripe, "protesting" the religious right.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:01:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:
Both BLACK and WHITE churches are being burned ... it doesn't look to be racially motivated.



The person appears to be just picking isolated churches. I don't think the demographics matter.



could be a satanic or anarchistic cult
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:02:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Did Baptists publish any editorial cartoons in the last five months that might have offended anyone?



No, most of us aren't as stupid as the...

... Hey!...

... Wait a minute...

Where are you from, again?



(j/k )
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:06:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheKill:
I bet it is a tolerant, diverse, and anti-violence oriented person/s. Liberals of some stripe, "protesting" the religious right.



[tinfoil] Maybe it's some Arubans, angry over our boycott... they did just have a delegation here to question some folks. [/tinfoil]
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:08:02 PM EDT
Could be someone pissed off about Westboro Baptist Church and their activities. If you didn't do your homework, you could easily assume that they are a legit Baptist church.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:08:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Did Baptists publish any editorial cartoons in the last five months that might have offended anyone?





Baptists around here offend each other.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:12:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 2:14:09 PM EDT by Dusty_C]
He was the negotiator at Waco and full of shit there too.


ETA his infamous quote "The Davidians opened fire, and I am sickened by any other assertion," said Jim Cavanaugh, ATF negotiator. "I sat there and I watched it."
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