Dolan Springs church fires caused by arson

Posted at 9:21 PM, Sep 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-30 00:21:45-04

Two fires that heavily damaged or destroyed two churches across the street from one another in northwestern Arizona were caused by arson, authorities said Tuesday.

Mohave County sheriff's detectives are investigating the fires set Saturday at Mount Tipton Community Church and Dolan Springs Baptist Church.

Mohave County Silent Witness increased the reward from $750 to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

No one was inside the churches in Dolan Springs when the fires started, and no injuries were reported.

Pastor Chris Zeller said the fire destroyed 35 percent of the Baptist church and heavily damaged the rest of the building. He was waiting to learn if any part of the church was salvageable and if the congregation will be allowed back into the building, the Kingman Daily Miner reported.

"We don't know at this point," he said.

The Mount Tipton church was destroyed. Worshippers held services Sunday at Dolan Springs Community Center.

The churches serve a community of about 2,000 residents.