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UPDATE: ATF deems Wills Point fire arson

UPDATE: ATF deems Wills Point fire arson

POSTED: Monday, February 8, 2010 - 10:22am

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 11:43am

***UPDATE***

WILLS POINT - ATF agent Tom Crowley tells KETK the Wills Point fire has been deemed arson.

***UPDATE***

An official with the ATF says they are calling this a suspicious fire. This is due to the signs of forced entry and the recent rash of church fires.

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WILLS POINT, Texas (AP) - The seventh church fire this year in
east Texas destroyed the sanctuary of Russell Memorial United
Methodist Church in Wills Point.

Van Zandt County Fire Marshal Chuck Allen told The Associated
Press that no injuries were reported in Thursday morning's blaze.

Allen says the cause of the fire is sought. He says the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been summoned to
Wills Point, about 50 miles east of Dallas.

ATF has said six church fires since Jan. 1 in east Texas are
blamed on arson.

The 37-year-old Allen, who was baptized in the Wills Point
church, said the fire continued burning nearly three hours after it
was reported and "this building's a total loss."

A Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office dispatcher told AP that the
fire was reported at 5:23 a.m. Thursday.

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