Authorities seek more info on church fire

The Juneau Police Department and Capital City Fire/Rescue are asking the public for help solving an arson case that damaged a church building more than two months ago.

JPD and the Juneau Crime Line highlighted the Dec. 1 fire as the “Crime of the Week” on Tuesday.

A preliminary investigation revealed that an unknown person or persons set a car on fire that was parked next to the Emmanuel Baptist Church in the 10000 Block of Glacier Highway, as previously reported by the Empire. The car — a tithe by a former church member to help church leaders attract a new pastor — became fully engulfed by flames and the fire moved to the adjacent building.

The car was a total loss, but firefighters who battled the flames were able to save several of the church’s musical instruments.

Deacon Larry Tong told the Empire back in December that the morning after the fire he found empty plastic bottles, possibly from Gatorade drinks, and small plastic bags in the shed where a padlock was broken. He suspected at the time that someone took the fuel from a jerrycan used for lawn maintenance to set the car on fire.

Anyone with information about the arson can report a tip to JPD at 586-0600 or to Juneau Crime Line at juneaucrimeline.com. Tipsters are guaranteed anonymity and can be rewarded up to $1,000.

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