By Bob Allen
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has announced a reward up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who set a predominantly Africa-American church in Charlotte, N.C., on fire June 24.
Authorities say a fire that caused $250,000 in structural and smoke damage to the children’s center at Briar Creek Road Baptist Church was intentionally set. It is one of at least seven black churches to burn since the June 17 shooting that killed nine parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Some were started by lightning or electricity, not arson, while others are being investigated as possible hate crimes.
The same day a seventh congregation, Fifth Ward Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, sustained significant damage in a fire being investigated as suspicious.