ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — St. Paul police have arrested a Maplewood teen accused of setting fire to a church while his ex-girlfriend and other youth-group members were inside.

No one was injured, and the church had only minor structural damage.

Police on Saturday said the fire was set the previous evening at the Faith Alliance Church in St. Paul.

Authorities say about 18 people were in the church basement when they heard the fire alarm go off. They went upstairs and saw flames blocking the main entry. Everyone was able to escape out a side door.

Several witnesses say they saw the 18-year-old suspect drive away.

The teen is being held on a tentative arson charge. He is also suspected of slashing tires on four cars in the church parking lot.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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