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FBI Joins N.C. Church Fires Probe

Police have teamed up with the FBI on Monday to investigate fires that broke out at two Baptist churches and a break-in at a third — all within an hour this weekend.
( [email protected] ) Jan 16, 2007 12:30 PM EST

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Police have teamed up with the FBI on Monday to investigate fires that broke out at two Baptist churches and a break-in at a third — all within an hour this weekend.

The task force will also include members of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the State Bureau of Investigation, the Greenville Fire Department and the Pitt County Sheriff's Department, said police spokesman Cpl. Kip Gaskins.

The speed of the first fire at The Memorial Baptist Church led investigators to treat both fires Saturday night as crime scenes, fire chief Mike Burton said. Damage at Memorial was estimated at $1 million.

The fire at Unity Free Will Baptist Church, about a mile away from The Memorial, was contained to a single room and damage was estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.

Burned items from the churches have been sent to a crime lab for analysis, Gaskins said.

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