Fire destroyed three historically-black churches in Louisiana over ten days. Now, investigators are trying to determine if they’re related.
Three historic churches, all destroyed by fire in less than two weeks, are seeking answers.
“We believe it’s suspicious, we’re certainly treating these fires from the beginning as crime scenes,” Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said.
The churches have predominantly African-American congregations.Louisiana’s State Fire Marshal alongside Federal and local agencies are investigating the cause of the fires. Officials haven’t said if they’re related.
“However, we’re very cognizant that there is a problem and it’s no coincidence that there are three fires,” Browning said.
The first fire was at Saint Mary Baptist Church on March 26. Then, on April 2nd, a fire destroyed Greater Union Baptist Church. Just two days later, a third fire destroyed Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on April 4th.
Church leaders say their faith won’t be rocked and that services will go on.
“Did I want to be at this part? No, I would rather not, but this is God’s plan,” Greater Union Baptist Pastor Harry Richard said. “He allowed it and I believe He brought me here, He’s going to bring me through this.”
Each of the churches have made temporary arrangements in other buildings.