Fire marshal: Fire at Consolation Church was arson

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 28, 2015

The State Fire Marshal’s office has determined the fire that destroyed Consolation Primitive Baptist Church on Feb. 16 was arson.

The ATF and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office have partnered in the investigation of the historic church fire in the Oakey Streak Community.

State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk told the Star-News on Friday that “this joint investigation has determined that the fire was intentionally set.”

Butler County Sheriff Kenny Hardin said the day of the fire, that there was no power running to the church, and there have been a lot of incidents with kids.

The incident wasn’t the church’s first brush with damage.

In 2007, vandals left broken windows, burned pews and remnants of candles in the historic structure, where a pentagram, a symbol often used by an occult, on the floor of the church.

Then, 13 Covington County residents, including 10 juveniles, were arrested and charged with burglary and criminal mischief for the incident.

Fire Marshal Public Information Officer Steve Holmes said physical evidence has been gathered and is currently being analyzed.

Additionally, interviews are now being conducted with potential witnesses.

Holmes said anyone with any information about this fire is asked to call the Alabama Arson Hotline at 1-800-654-0775 or report information at