N.C. Church Becomes Latest Arson String Victim


A string of 13 arsons in the Northeast Ward of Winston-Salem continued Wednesday morning when someone set fire to the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Winston-Salem police said.

Police said the fire did $39,000 in damage to the building on New Hope Lane and the contents inside, including an organ.

"We’ve had 13 fires that have ranged in intensity. They started out as small fires in vehicles and they have grown to vacant houses," said Winston-Salem fire investigator Matt Guffy.

Guffy said the string of arsons started last summer.

Marcella Crosson lives near the church and said she could see the smoke. She called for police to step up law enforcement efforts in the area.

"You know, we need more officers in this area. We need more protection, because if they're burning a church down, God knows what else they'll do," Crosson said. "They’re fearless. They don’t fear God. They don’t fear the church. They don’t fear the police. I’ve never seen such in all my life and that’s the truth."

Guffy said police do have some leads, but are asking for more help from the public in solving the crimes.

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