Across St. Louis, Mo., a series of fires at Black churches have people in the region asking questions and raising concerns that these buildings are under attack. Over the past 11 days, five Black churches have reported blazes.
According to a report from NBC News, the blazes were set at the front doors or entrances of the churches while causing slight damage to the inside of the building. St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson spoke exclusively with the network, explaining the situation in detail.
From NBC News:
Investigators from the St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting the St. Louis Fire Department and local police departments in an effort determine if all five fires are related, Jenkerson said. The five churches that have been set ablaze are within about three miles of one another, he said.
“We’ve got similarities in how the fires are set, which is what we’re looking at,” Jenkins said. But the fires haven’t all been set at the same time of day, and don’t seem to target specific types of churches. Jenkins said the churches that have been set on fire are of varying denominations and sizes.
The initial blaze was reported on Oct. 10 with the last happened early Saturday (Oct. 17) morning. As of now, authorities have not been able to determine who started the blazes or their motives.
Earlier in the summer, a series of church fires were curiously set across the Deep South, setting off speculation that the Ku Klux Klan and similar hate groups were responsible. The blazes happened in the wake of the actions of Charleston church shooter, Dylann Roof.
Photo: St. Louis PD