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Authorities Probe YouTube Church Fire Video

A task force of local, state and federal agencies are investigating an online video that shows firefighters trying to extinguish one of two church fires started by arson.
( [email protected] ) Feb 01, 2007 05:41 PM EST

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Authorities are investigating an online video that shows firefighters trying to extinguish one of two church fires started by arson.

The video - with the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire" playing in the background - was anonymously posted on YouTube.com two weeks ago with the description, "oh dang that (expletive) got burnt." It shows a late night blaze consuming The Memorial Baptist Church, which suffered more than $1 million dollars in damage during the Jan. 13 fire.

A task force of local, state and federal agencies began to look into the video shortly after it was posted, said Cpl. Kip Gaskins, a Greenville Police Department spokesman. Gaskins said he couldn't comment further.

Along with the fire at The Memorial, authorities responded the same night to a second fire at nearby Unity Free Will Baptist Church and a break-in at a third church. No one has been charged in the incidents, and officials haven't named any suspects.

The YouTube video, apparently filmed from across the street, shows smoke and flames shooting from the roof of the building. The video has been viewed nearly 300 times, according to the site.

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