Clues Sought In 2 Ky. Church Fires - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Clues Sought In 2 Ky. Church Fires

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RICHARDSVILLE, Ky. -Two suspicious fires destroy churches in less than 48 hours.

Is it just a coincidence or is something sinister happening?

Two congregations have lost everything. They have no place to worship. 

Other congregations wonder if they're next.

Federal agents are investigating the fires. They've been sifting through the rubble in the Richardsville community, which is north of Bowling Green, Ky.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent agents to both locations.

An ATF spokesman said agents are following leads in both cases. He said there are too many similarities to ignore.

"The pulpit was back there where you can see that raised place," said David Eadens.

He grew up in the Mount Zion Church of Christ. He is sixth generation member. He was a minister for 20 years.

Now, he's an elder.

Eadens first learned the church burned to the ground early Friday morning.

"Well, I thought she was talking about the Mount Pleasant Church and never dreamed about it being ours," he said.

Just two mornings before the Mount Pleasant Church of Christ was destroyed by fire. No one was hurt.

"We're all just devastated.  When the call came this morning about 4:30 about Mount Zion, it was just unbelievable," said Tammy Miller.

The churches are in the same community. One could drive from one church to the other in just a matter of minutes.

"Six to seven miles at most," said one resident. "Not over six miles I don't think from Mount Pleasant. 

The Kentucky State Fire Marshal's office and the ATF are investigating. They can't ignore the similarities.

"I don't believe they think it's a coincidence either from what I can get out of them," said a resident.

"I think it's somebody that knew both churches. I feel like it's somebody in the community being it's both buildings," Eadens said.

Other churches wonder if they might be next.

"They're on pins and needles obviously. All the other congregations here are," said one local resident.

They know what is gone is just a building.

A church is about people, but in this case the structure means a little more. Built in 1852, it's one of the oldest churches in Kentucky and some say the country.

It's heart breaking. It's really heartbreaking," Eadens said.

The congregation was not able to save anything at Mount Zion, but at Mount Pleasant they saved the church bell.

An ATF spokesman said in both fires investigators have not determined where they started or what caused them. 

Both churches will gather Sunday and hold services in the center of Richardsville. Mount Zion will meet at the community center and Mount Pleasant in the gymnasium.

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