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Preston church fire, burglary labeled 'suspicious'

NEWBURG, W.Va. -- Investigators say someone broke into a century-old Preston County church and stole more than 100 gallons of fuel oil from outdoor storage tanks before it burned to the ground.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Mackey Ayersman calls the fire at Shay's Chapel United Methodist Church near Newburg suspicious, but he says it's unclear whether the blaze earlier this week was deliberately or accidentally set.

Ayersman says the thieves spilled some of the fuel oil on the road in front of the church as they left.

Ayersman tells media outlets that at least one other church in the area has had a similar burglary.

He asks anyone with information about people stealing or selling stolen fuel oil to call the marshal's office hotline at 1-800-233-FIRE.

Shays Chapel has about 20 members.

 

 


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