MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says it is investigating a church fire in Memphis.
Memphis Fire Department spokesman Wayne Cooke says crews put out a fire at New Salem Fellowship Ministries church at about 2 p.m. Wednesday. Cooke says no one was injured in the fire, which affected the rear of the church.
Cooke says the fire was intentionally set in an exterior stairwell. He says the building had $25,000 worth of damage plus another $5,000 in damage to contents inside.
ATF spokesman Michael Knight says a certified fire investigator from the bureau will coordinate with other responding agencies in its investigation.
Cooke says it is protocol for the ATF and the FBI to investigate church fires. Supervisory Special Agent Joel Siskovic, a spokesman for the FBI, declined to confirm the bureau’s role in the investigation.