Investigation underway into fires outside Hattiesburg church

Published 6:52 pm Friday, June 22, 2007

A fire involving a bus at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, the second one in a week, is being investigated to determine whether it was deliberately set, authorities said Thursday.

Another fire occurred last month at the old Hattiesburg High School, also located in the North Main Street Historic District.

Fire Chief David Webster said the circumstances of the early Thursday fire, which destroyed the bus and damaged a nearby panel van, were similar to the church bus fire that occurred last Thursday.

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“We don’t want to draw any conclusions right off the bat,” Webster said. “We are going to approach it fresh.”

Authorities said they were investigating whether two juveniles may have been responsible for last week’s bus fire and the May 29 fire at the old school.