Officials: Fire at black Charlotte church deliberately set

This image from a WSOC/NDN news video shows firefighters on the scene of Briar Creek Road Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Investigators with the Charlotte Fire Department say a fire at a church is a case of arson.

Local media outlets report that Senior Fire Investigator David Williams said it took about an hour to get Wednesday morning’s fire at Briar Creek Road Baptist Church under control. Two firefighters were injured and treated for heat-related injuries.

Officials aren’t saying what evidence exists to show the fire was intentionally set.

The church’s congregation is predominantly black, and there are about 100 members. Investigators are not sure if the fire was racially motivated.

The church building, which dates back to the 1980s, sustained excessive damage to its education building. The rest of the property, including the sanctuary and gymnasium, has smoke damage. Williams said total damage is estimated at more than $250,000.