Church fire not arson

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2007


ORRVILLE &8212; Fire investigators are expected back today at the scene of a fire here that nearly totally destroyed Siloam Missionary Baptist Church, but for now have ruled out arson.

That came as welcome news to Deacon Herbert Blackmon, since the burnings of churches in the Black Belt over the past several years had been deliberate.

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State Fire Marshall Jebb Harrison and Jay Edwards sifted through the charred remains for hours after the early Wednesday morning blaze. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined, Blackmon said.

The fire is believed to have started in the church fellowship hall, which was between the old church sanctuary and the new one build just over a year and a half ago. Blackmon, the church secretary and a member for the past 25 years, said they&8217;ve been contacted by their Alfa Insurance agent and will begin processing their claim.