Officials are asking for the public’s help in the fire at the parsonage of the church

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ARLINGTONPublic safety officials are asking for help from the community as they investigate an early morning fire in the rectory of an Arlington church, Arlington Fire Chief Kevin M. Kelley said. Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m. this morning, an Arlington police officer observed smoke in the area of ​​22 Appleton St., the rectory of St. Athanasius Church a short distance away. Arlington firefighters responded to the scene to find heavy smoke inside the structure, which was unoccupied during the renovation. They located a smoldering fire in the basement of the building and quickly extinguished it.

“We are asking anyone with information about this fire or how it started to share it with investigators,” Chief Kelley said. “You can remain anonymous if you prefer.”

“There are few fires of greater concern than those affecting places of worship,” said state fire marshal Ostroskey. “We want the community to know that we take this fire, and any fire in a place of worship, seriously.”

Anyone with information about the fire, its origin or the people involved is asked to call the Arson Watch Rewards Program Helpline at 1-800-682-9229. The Arson Watch Reward Program is operated by the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriters Association and offers rewards of until $5,000 for information that solves or detects crimes of arson. All calls are confidential. Tipsters can remain anonymous if they wish.

Those with information can also contact the Arlington Police Department to speak with local investigators at 781-316-3910. The origin and cause of the fire are being investigated by the Arlington Fire Department, the Arlington Police Department, the Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit of the state police assigned to the office of the state fire marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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