South Carolina Church Fire under Federal Investigation


The historical black church “Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal” of Mackey Road, Greeleyville, South Carolina has been a victim of an e...

The historical black church “Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal” of Mackey Road, Greeleyville, South Carolina has been a victim of an earlier target and now caught fire this Tuesday night. Federal investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire. As reported by officials the investigators from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and firearms and explosives are investigating the scene. However, the cause is still not clear. Both federal and state authorities are investigating the incident. Mount Zion church is 110 years old. A similar incident happened in 1995 when the church was reduced to ashes in a massive fire 20 years ago by two of the Ku Klux Klan members who pleaded guilty later. The church was rebuilt next year whose dedication to rebuilt ceremony was attended by President Clinton.
South Carolina Church Fire under Federal Investigation
Image: Andrew Knapp / Twitter
South Carolina fire has heightened the fears spread by killing of nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. According to an official of State Law Enforcement Division the area witnessed storm and heavy lightning which might have caused the fire. As the fire smouldered overnight, the cause is still a mystery. Also the extent of damage and injuries is unclear. Federal officials said that the five church fires in a row did not appear to be racially motivated but rather can be stated to be arson. The statement was issued by ATF saying the preliminary investigation was in progress and so it cannot be said that the fires are racially motivated.

The fire department of Clarendon County said it had the fire under control but later the church’s roof completely collapsed. Randy Swinton (Williamsburg County Fire Chief) said that the time of the reporting of the fire and the lightning storm was about the same. The local WCSC stated that the fire was reported around 9 pm. Clarendon County’s fire fighter Jason hardy told the building collapsed leaving just the outer shell and bricks. The massive fire destroyed the 8,000 square foot church. There wasn’t any reporting about injuries. This is latest in the line of predominantly black church fire incidents that began shortly after the massacre of worshippers at the Charleston church on June 17.  This is the seventh church that caught fire since nine people were shot dead at Emanuel AME Church by 21 year old Dylann Roof.

The shooting at Charleston and following fires have raised concerns about potential racist violence. The FBI investigation is under process. State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel said that all are concerned about whether the blazes are related.



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Washington Account: South Carolina Church Fire under Federal Investigation
South Carolina Church Fire under Federal Investigation
Washington Account
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