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Church burns after vandals strike
JASPER COUNTY - KFDM News has learned federal, local and state officers are investigating a fire that heavily damaged a church that was vandalized just before flames broke out.
Watch KFDM News and stay with kfdm.com for updates.
Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman tells KFDM News someone called 911 at about 3:45 a.m. Monday to report smoke coming from a metal building that houses Northwest Buna Church of Christ off Highway 96.
First responders arrived at the church, about two miles north of Buna, to find flames burning the building.
Sheriff Newman says someone had vandalized the church and turned over all the pews. They also turned over air conditioning units. There was other damage as well.
The Sheriff says investigators believe the fire began in the church kitchen. It was either deliberate or started as a result of some of the vandalism, Newman said.
The Sheriff told us the church, which is in a large metal building, was heavily damaged but wasn't destroyed.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating, as well as the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.