Denton Church Damaged in 3 Fires This Summer

By Randy McIlwain
|  Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010  |  Updated 7:45 PM CDT
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Three Fires This Summer for a Denton Church

NBCDFW.com

Three fires have burned outside a Denton church in less than two months.

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Three Fires This Summer for a Denton Church

Three fires in one summer at Highland Baptist Church in Denton, and investigators say they're all suspicious.
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Denton fire investigators are calling three fires outside a neighborhood church suspicious.

The Highland Baptist Church at the intersection of Thomas and Scripture streets has sustained minor damage in three fires since June 28. Investigators say all of the blazes started outside.

The incidents have not been ruled arson, but investigators said that three fires in a month and a half may be more than a coincidence.

"It hurts," said Mark Snyder, a member of the church.

Snyder, who met and married his wife at Highland Baptist, worked Wednesday to repair some of the burned wood on the windows and exterior doors that lead to the sanctuary.

"The church isn't a building for us," the Rev. Eddie Schaefer said. "It's a family, and so anything done against a family, of course, takes its toll."

The church is located in the middle of a residential neighborhood, across the street from a public park.

Nearby homeowners said they will keep an eye on the church, especially overnight, when the fires have occurred.

"I just say, 'Get right with the Lord first, then turn yourself in," Snyder said.

He said he is hoping for an end to the fires or the strength to handle whatever comes next.

"To me, they've just defaced it," he said. "They haven't burnt it down. We can still worship."

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