Church fire may be intentionally set

Assistant chief: Attempted arson not ruled out as cause
Aug 12, 2014
(Xavier Smith • Lebanon Democrat) An apartment connected to Pinnacle Life Christian Center was the scene of a small fire early Saturday morning. Fire investigators have not ruled out attempted arson as the cause.

Lebanon fire investigators believe a fire was possibly intentionally set at a church early Saturday morning. 

According to a report, Lebanon firefighters arrived at Pinnacle Life Christian Center at 228 Cedar St. just after 1 a.m. and found a small fire was burning on the back porch of an apartment connected to the church. Firefighters said the fire spread to an outside wall on the apartment before it was put out. The report listed outside rubbish, trash or waste as what was burned on the porch. 

Firefighters called Investigator Lt. Pat O’Brien to the scene. According to the report, O’Brien took samples from around the base of the apartment’s door, which were sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Nashville. 

According to Assistant fire Chief Jason Baird, the samples will be tested for the presence of accelerants. Baird said attempted arson was not ruled out as a cause of the fire. 

O’Brien said in the report the incident remains under investigation.

“There was fairly light damage to the structure,” O’Brien said Monday. “It burned some of the plastic siding off and scorched the wood underneath.”

Firefighters remained on the scene for about an hour.

The report said Vivian Seay lives in the apartment, but she was not home at the time of the fire. O’Brien said he made contact with Seay on Sunday, but didn’t learn much more information. 

O’Brien said four apartment are attached to the church building owned by Larry Ferrell. 

Anyone who may know more about the fire is asked to call Lebanon Fire Department at 615-443-2904. 

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