Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:21 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:21:28 GMT
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WALKER COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -
The State Fire Marshal's Office has confirmed that an early morning church fire is arson.
The fire started around 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning at the Jasper Alliance Church. It is located on Highway 5 just outside of the Jasper city limits.
Several fire departments responded to the blaze and firefighters at the scene said they believed that the blaze was not an accident.
The preacher's wife says that this is the fourth time the church has been broken into in the last three years.
She said the church's insurance recently dropped their coverage because of the frequent break-ins, and the church just recently got coverage through another company. The preacher's wife says they began putting up a sign that stated "No money kept at church" due to the break-ins.
The congregation has eight members, all over 80 years old. The church's preacher is in a wheelchair, still recovering from a heart attack and battling pneumonia.
The investigation is being conducted by the State Fire Marshal's Office, the ATF and the Walker County Sheriff's Office. Anyone with information on this case is urged to called the Alabama Arson Hotline at 1-800-654-0775 or contact the sheriff's office at 205-302-6464.