Arson Ignited Blaze at Black Church in North Carolina According to Investigators

A fire that destroyed much of an African-American church in Charlotte, North Carolina is being attributed to arson, according to officials there. No one was seriously hurt in the blaze at Briar Creek Road Baptist Church, though two firefighters suffered minor injuries and the fire caused roughly $250,000 in damages to the property. According to the Charlotte Observer, senior fire investigator David Williams said his department is looking to determine whether the attack was a hate crime.

The news is particularly troubling considering it comes exactly one week after accused murderer Dylann Roof opened fire in a black South Carolina church, killing nine African-American parishoners. Roof had previously created a manifesto in which he essentially called for a race war in America.

In an interview with local station WBTV, discussing the potential that the fire was an act of hate, Pastor Mannix Kinsey said, “We’re still talking about this same issue and it’s 2015. And so, we all have to consider, what else do we need to do to actually be able to work together?”

Briar Creek Road Baptist Church is a small church, with under 100 parishioners. The church was built in 1951 and served mostly white congregants until the mid-1980s. 

Officials say they currently have no leads in the case.

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