Historic Chattanooga Church Fire Was Intentionally Started

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(Chattanooga Fire Department)

A fire that severely damaged a historic church in Chattanooga was intentionally started and authorities were searching Friday for a person of interest in the arson case, officials said.

A three-alarm fire on June 10 at Phillips Chapel and Chauncey-Goode Auditorium in downtown Chattanooga nearly destroyed buildings and caused parts of structures to be destroyed, the State Fire Department said. city ​​in a press release.

No injuries were reported. Investigators said more than 100 people helped fight the fire.

Photos taken from surveillance footage showed a man on a bicycle in the area at the time of the fire, officials said. Investigators have asked for the public’s help in this case.

The landmarks were central parts of the Old Baptist Church in Highland Park and the University of Tennessee Temple. The property is now part of the Redemption to the Nations Church campus, the fire department said.

“We heard from many people who shared their memories of events held at these well-known Chattanooga structures over the years,” the department said in its news release. “Thousands of people attended church services, reunions, weddings and graduations there.”

A cash reward of up to $5,000 is available for tips leading to an arrest.

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