Police and Federal Officers Investigating Fire at Black Church in Massachusetts

Illustration for article titled Police and Federal Officers Investigating Fire at Black Church in Massachusetts
Photo: Anthony Montoya (Shutterstock)

Local police along with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are investigating a fire at a Black church in Springfield, Massachusetts.


According to NBC News, Martin Luther King Jr. Community Presbyterian Church caught fire during the early hours of Monday morning. Firefighters responded to a call around 5 a.m., and it took them nearly an hour to extinguish the fire. Springfield Fire Commissioner Bernard Calvi told NBC News the fire was “highly suspicious” as “there’s been three other fires in this general area in the last three weeks.”

Officials are currently investigating the premises to ensure that there wasn’t an accidental cause for the fire. According to WWLP, firefighters did not see anyone around or inside the church at the time of their arrival. It was said that the fire was so damaging that it rendered the church “unusable.” This is even more heartbreaking due to the fact that the congregation recently replaced the roof after staging a successful fundraising campaign.

Ronn Johnson of Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Services told WWLP that the church has been the site of multiple instances of vandalism in recent weeks, including an incident where some cardboard had been set ablaze. While this is awful and I feel for the congregants, I’m just happy no one was actually hurt as a result of the fire.

Springfield police and the FBI are currently searching the area for any leads. The FBI has joined the investigation as the sheer fact it was a Black church set on fire in the middle of the night means this could be a hate crime. The ATF has also joined the investigation along with the Massachusetts State Police Arson and Bomb Squad.

I’m just saying it now: it’s going to be real sus if four law enforcement agencies can’t figure out who set this church on fire.


The church was founded over 40 years ago, and Reverend Dr. Terrlyn L. Curry Avery currently oversees the approximately 50-person congregation. Should you live in the area and have any information on who set the church on fire you are encouraged to call the arson hotline at 800-682-9229. If your info leads to a suspect you may get a $5,000 reward. I know Cam’ron instilled some very strong opinions about snitching, but the way I see it, you could feel like a hero and be $5,000 richer.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.


Nunna Yorz - American Justice Is A Joke

My money’s on an under 40 Trumper/Republican/white supremacist who’s still mad about the election. The police and news will never call it a hate crime, and the perpetrator will be given a fine and probation as long as he promises not to commit any more hate crimes. He’ll inspire more likeminded local white supremacists and the cycle will continue.

My cynicism comes from the fact that after the number of Wiley E. Coyote schemes cooked up by white supremacists that have been busted this year alone, almost none of them are charged as hate crimes or domestic terrorism.