Investigators believe the flames that caused a Walker County church to burn to the ground Sunday night were the result of arson, the lead investigator said this afternoon.
County firefighters spent all Sunday night putting out flames at Garretts Chapel Baptist Church after a neighbor reported the fire shortly before 11 p.m.
The fire destroyed both adjoining church buildings, Walker County Assistant Fire Chief Waymond Westbrook said.
Authorities believe someone broke into a door in the building’s breezeway and set the church on fire, Westbrook said.
But investigators don’t have any solid leads at this time, he said.
Authorities are hoping someone will come forward with more information.
The state fire marshal is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...