Arson suspected in fire that destroyed 100-year-old Baptist church in Missouri

by Jordyn Pair · Jul 15th, 2020 8:38 am

Last Updated Jul 15th, 2020 at 11:17 am

Arson is being investigated as the cause of a 100-year-old church burning down earlier this month in Missouri, officials said.

Harmony Baptist Church near Leeton, Missouri, burned down on July 5. Fire crews began arriving shortly before 11:40 p.m., bringing the fire under control a little after 1:30 a.m. More than 50,000 gallons of water was brought to the scene.

No personnel or civilians were injured. The church was destroyed.

"The preliminary cause of the fire was determined to be incendiary (intentionally ignited) in nature initiating an arson investigation," the Johnson County Fire Protection District said.

The district had been notified of an alarm activation from inside the church as personnel were on their way to the fire.

Officials are asking the public for help in identifying a man seen at the scene. Those with information should contact the Fire Marshal at 1-800-39-ARSON (1-800-392-7766) or the ATF by texting "ATFKC" to 63975.

"This fire is devastating to members of our community. We need our community's assistance in finding those responsible for this fire," said Fire Chief Larry Jennings.


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