Police searching for arsonist who destroyed gazebo at Summerville church

Published: Apr. 16, 2015 at 11:53 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2015 at 11:58 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Investigators with the Summerville Police Department say they are continuing to look for the person responsible for starting a fire at a Summerville church which destroyed a gazebo.

The fire happened last Wednesday when a police officer saw heavy smoke in the area of Gahagan Road at 12:27 a.m.

The officer found the fire at a gazebo at the Crossroads Community Church on 505 Gahagan Road. According to police, the gazebo had heavy flooding around it due to a water hose near the gazebo being left on.

The hose appeared to be in the center of the structure as if intentionally placed there, the officer reported. The officer said the gazebo then began to collapse as surrounding trees and brush caught fire.

It appeared the fire had been burning for some time due to the extent of the damage done to the gazebo.

The officer walked around the perimeter of the school where he saw a brush fire around the administration building which extended to the playground.

According to police, a second brush fire was around the front of the school's perimeter.

A witness told the officer that he heard someone moving picnic tables at the gazebo an hour before the officer arrived.

The officer said as he was approached by responding firefighters, the witness left the incident location before he was able to get his information.

Fire officials told police that the fire appeared to have been intentionally set.

Fire Chief Richard Waring reported that as firefighters were using a thermal imaging camera they saw someone sitting in the woods.

After taking a second look through the camera, crews said the subject was gone.

Police are continuing the investigation.

If you have any information you are asked to call police or Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

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