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Macon Church Fire Ruled Arson

5:45 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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An update to a story we brought you Monday, a fire that destroyed a place of worship was ruled an arson.

The Reaching Souls Cathedral church off Rocky Creek Road and Bethesda Avenue was heavily damaged when a fire broke out Monday morning.

13WMAZ spoke with State Fire Marshal, Dwayne Garris who said, "It has been determined that it was a set fire." 

 Garris says they used a dog that was trained to detect accelerants in the burned building, which alerted them to several different trouble spots.

"The arson canine is trained to detect about thirty different types of hydro carbon liquids that are used in setting a fire." explained Garris.  

He wouldn't say exactly how many areas they targeted or where, but said it was enough to determine arson. "I would say more than two and enough to deal with the issue."

"We have some areas that received fire damage themselves, and some where the fire department was able to make a good save on the building, so we possibly have some positive samples on areas that did not burn." explained Garris
 
Those samples were sent to a crime lab, and Garris predicts it could take several days to get the results back. 

Investigators are still interviewing possible witnesses.
He asks anyone with information to call the Arson Hotline at(800)282-4804.
You can remain anonymous and they're offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

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