Opp church blaze called arson

Published 11:59 pm Monday, August 31, 2009

The state fire marshal’s office is calling a fire at Opp’s First United Methodist Church Sunday an act of “arson.”

The “small” fire was discovered shortly before 7 p.m. during Sunday’s evening worship service, said Stephen Holmes, public information specialist for the Alabama Department of Insurance.

“The church building sustained only minor damage, and although it was occupied at the time of the fire, no injuries were reported,” Holmes said.

No information as to the exact location of the fire was released, but an ensuing investigation by the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Opp Fire Department, and the Opp Police Department has determined the blaze was intentionally set.

As of Monday afternoon, the investigation into the both the cause of the blaze and those responsible was still under way.

Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk asked anyone who may have information about this fire to contact the Alabama Arson Hotline at 1-800-654-0775.