Three Local Churches Vandalized Over the Weekend, Two Involving Arson

by Patrick Herron

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services responded to North Bethesda United Methodist Church (10100 Old Georgetown Rd) in North Bethesda on Saturday, July 9, around 1:30am after the church’s fire alarm system was activated.  Firefighters located several areas where small fires were set, or attempted to be set, inside of the church. Damages are estimated to be around $1,000. Investigators also located damaged head stones and scattered broken wood pieces at Wildwood Baptist Church at 10200 Old Georgetown Rd, right down the road from United Methodist.

On Sunday, July 10, MCFRS responded to a fire alarm at the St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church (9601 Old Georgetown Rd) shortly before 2am and arrived to find several pews on fire inside the church, according to a our Public Safety Correspondent Cordell Pugh. The fire was knocked down a short time later. Sixty-five firefighters responded to the scene and there were no injuries reported. Damages are estimated to be around $50,000.

Chief Spokesperson for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services’ Pete Piringer reports that the fires are being investigated as arson and anyone with information is asked to call the arson tipline at 240-777-2263.


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