At approximately 8 PM on Wednesday evening, Officers with the DeFuniak Springs Police responded to the College Avenue Church of Christ located at 337 College Avenue in reference to a burglary and fire. A church member reported smelling smoke before locating a small fire in the supply room at the church. Church members, who were attending services, were alerted and the fire was extinguished by members using a fire extinguisher. Investigation revealed that a person or persons gained entry into a locked supply room and started a fire with toilet paper. The source of ignition is still under investigation and there were no signs of forced entry. There was very minimal damage caused to the supplies and no structural damage was observed. No injuries or smoke related complications were reported.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office was contacted to assist in the investigation because of the fire being deliberate. Additionally, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives was contacted and responded since a church was involved. ATF routinely responds to church arson cases. The investigation is continuing and anyone with information regarding this is asked to contact Detective Austin at 850-892-8513. Callers may also leave an anonymous message by contacting the TIPS line at 850-910-TIPS(8477).