Investigators seeks arsonist behind costly church fires

Investigators seeks arsonist behind costly church fires

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by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 9:28 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte’s Arson Task Force is looking for a person of interest in connection with an arson investigation at Providence Baptist Church.

Back in July, someone set two fires inside the building, which is located on Randolph Road in the Cotswold area.

"We still aren’t back in those areas. So much work yet to be done before we can get back in there," said Dr. Al Cadenhead, the pastor.

He, like everyone else, is trying to figure out who the mystery man is in the surveillance photos.

“The photograph depicts a white male in his late teens or early 20s, wearing light green shorts and a black T-shirt with neon writing on the back,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Arson investigator Philip Levett.

The fires burned themselves out; the fire damage was minimal, but smoke damage was major to the tune of $250,000 and counting.

Every day since July, church members have wondered who is responsible and why they committed this crime.

"To have this level of reaction -- that's something we’re not accustomed too. It was a bit of disbelief that somebody would really want to do that to you. Burn you down, that's serious business," said the pastor.

Police are hoping that the picture generates a lot of phone calls.

“I would definitely urge them to just call us. What they think might be small might be a lot bigger to us," said Levett.

Church members want closure, but not just for themselves.

"Maybe the only way this person can get some help is to be apprehended and forced to deal with it. Without catching them, this person has the capability of doing this again," said Pastor Cadenhead.

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