State Official: Two Juveniles Arrested in Glencoe Church Arson Case

GLENCOE, Ala. (AP) — Two juveniles were arrested on arson charges in a weekend attempt to set fire to a small church in Etowah County, a state official said Tuesday.

Ragan Ingram, a spokesman with the state insurance office in Montgomery, said a 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl were accused of second-degree arson in connection with a fire Sunday at Chapman's Chapel, which has fewer than 20 members.

Both of the youths lived in the area, he said.

The outside of the building in rural Glencoe, about 60 miles northeast of Birmingham, received minor damage. Federal officials said it appeared someone threw a small Molotov cocktail at the church.

The fire was not believed to be directly related to a ring of recent church arsons in Alabama. "this was clearly unrelated to the other fires. We will continue our work with the federal, state and local agencies working the other fires,"said State Fire Marshal Richard Montgomery.

A joint federal-state task force is investigating 10 other rural church arsons since Feb. 3, with two unidentified men in their 20s or 30s being sought. Those 10 involved church break-ins, with fires started inside. They also were all rural Baptist churches.

Chapman's Chapel, while in an isolated country location, is a Pentecostal congregation, not Baptist.

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