Posted: August 20, 2012 2:38:36 PM PDT
Bellingham, WA--Local and Federal authorities are investigating an arson at a Bellingham church. On Monday morning August 20, at 6:42 AM an alarm was received by a Bellingham security firm. The alarm indicated a burglary at the Birchwood Presbyterian Church at 400 Meadowbrook Court in Bellingham. Following protocol the alarm company dispatched a security guard to check on the building. At about the time the security guard arrived the alarm company could hear the sound of fire crackling from microphones in the church and other alarms went off indicating the sprinkler system had activated. The 911 center received a call from the alarm company and Bellingham Fire and Police responded to the church. Upon entering the church fire and police personnel found a set fire in a hallway. This fire was small enough to be put out with a fire extinguisher. As the church was searched a larger smoldering fire was discovered in the sanctuary. This fire had been extinguished by the sprinkler system and saved the church from any structural damage, although there is smoke and fire damage to the interior of the building. Entry to the church was gained by breaking in a door and the two fires inside were clearly the work of an arsonist. Investigators from the Bellingham Fire Department, Bellingham Police Department, ATF and FBI are on scene and working together on the investigation.
Media Contact: Lt. Rick Sucee, Bellingham Police Department (360) 815-1696