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Police: Church Hit By Arsonists In North Mpls. Spree

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A church piano was set aflame in an apparent arson spree in North Minneapolis overnight, according to police.

At least nine fires were set in the rash within a half hour just after midnight.

Fire crews responded to Community Covenant Church on Humboldt Avenue North. Heavy smoke was showing, but they were able to extinguish the fire in the piano before it could affect other parts of the church.

Police said a number of trash cans, branches, a vehicle and a fence were also targeted by the arsonist or arsonists. The fires were within the area surrounded by 2nd Avenue North and 10th Avenue North, and between Thomas Avenue and Humboldt Avenue.

Community Covenant member Pearlie Collins expressed disappointment “to see that there could be someone out there so cruel as to destroy God’s sanctuary.”

Pastor Luke Swanson said it will not stop them from worship.

“We are going to continue to reach into the community to be a positive force,” Swanson said.

Minneapolis Arson Investigator Sean McKenna said they don’t have any suspects.

“More often than not, arsonists are people that come and go on foot. So I am thinking that whoever set this fire is within walking distance,” McKenna said.

The suspect also sprayed a racial slur on the church’s garage. McKenna said they are not saying it’s a “hate crime” yet until more information is gathered.

Authorities request anyone with any information about the fires contact the arson hotline at 612-673-3070 or 1-800-723-2020.

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