Checkpoint to help get info on Urbana church arson
URBANA — Urbana police are hoping to find information about an arson last week at a south Urbana church.
Between 6 and 7 a.m. Wednesday, they will be stopping vehicles in the 3300 block of South Philo Road, hoping that someone might have information on anything suspicious they may have seen on the morning of Nov. 17, when a fire about 6:40 a.m. damaged the Urbana First Baptist Church at 3311 S. Philo Road.
The church, which shares its space with the Midwest Believer Church congregation, was heavily damaged by smoke in a fire that fire officials say was intentionally set.
The fire was set on vinyl siding at the back of the church, flared up toward the soffit, then settled back down, burning through studs, Division Chief Brian Nightlinger said.
Although it took only 2 gallons of water from a pump can to douse the fire, the smoke damage was so bad that the two congregations were forced to relocate until the professional cleanup can be completed.
Police want people who normally drive that way at that hour to be aware of the checkpoint and drive safely through the area.