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First Baptist Church in Montgomery damaged in possible arson

By DXR - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

A Montgomery church has been damaged by a fire believed to be the result of an act of arson.

Pastor Mark Bethea of First Baptist Church of Montgomery said the building was attacked overnight by someone who tried to set fire to several parts of the building. The office and reception area were badly damaged. Several pews were destroyed and there was smoke throughout the structure.

Bethea said a quick response from firefighters prevented the fire from being a "catastrophic event." Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement saying she is saddened by what she called a "hateful act" upon her church.

Police and fire officials have not commented on the incident.

Caroline Vincent is a digital producer for Alabama Public Radio.
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