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Fresno church hit by arsonist, police say; $50,000 in damages reported

The College church in Fresno, Calif., was the target of what officials believe was arson early Tuesday. An elementary school about a half-mile away was hit near the same time.

The Fresno Bee reported the fire started at the rear of the main buildingoutside one of seven classrooms used by the Mountain View ChristianSchool for kindergarten to sixth-grade students. The fire caused majordamage to an exterior wall and resulted in heavy water damage when asprinkler system was activated, officials said. Damage was estimated at$50,000.

“The whole community should be outraged over this,” Herman Leonard, a member of the College church, told the Bee.

Nomotive has been determined, and no suspects have been identified, saidKen Shockley, a Fire Department spokesman. Investigators are seekinghelp from the public, he said.

Classes at the school were cancelled Tuesday as officials worked to find other space inside the College church to accommodate students.

Filed under: Staff Reports Top Stories

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