Historic chapel set ablaze in Georgia, US officials seek arsonist

1/11/2021 UPDATE: The Associated Press is reporting that inspectors have confirmed the fire was intentionally set.

Jeff Turner

Authorities in the US say a fire at an historic chapel in Georgia was intentionally set.

A spokesperson for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office said emergency crews were called to the Smith Chapel Church in Bowdon, Georgia around 12 p.m. Monday. The church building was fully engulfed in flame when the first emergency worker arrived.

“We believe at this point the fire was intentionally set and we are asking anyone who was in the area and may have witnessed anything unusual between 10 am and 2 pm to contact Investigator Brandon Wiggins,” said the spokesperson.

The sheriff’s office as of Tuesday afternoon has not determined a motive for the crime.

Historic Rural Churches is an organization that seeks to document and preserve historic church buildings.  Its website says the chapel has stood since 1851.

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