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Auburn woman arrested on arson charge in Montgomery church fire

First Baptist Church Montgomery
By DXR - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

An Auburn woman has been arrested and charged with second-degree arson after setting fire to a Montgomery church last week.

Xiaoqin Yan, 27, was captured setting fire to First Baptist Church of Montgomery on surveillance footage. She was arrested Oct. 4 and jailed with a bond set at $30,000. According to court records, Yan used an “open flame to ignite and ignitable liquid” to start multiple fires in multiple locations in the church sanctuary and caused nearly $25,000 worth of damage.

The church fires were discovered shortly before 3 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30. Pastor Mark L. Bethea said the fires damaged pews and carpet in the sanctuary and destroyed the reception office.

The court records do not show if Yan has an attorney or provide a possible motive.

Lacey Alexander is a digital intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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