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Investigators: Chicago church fire suspicious

Published: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 1:07 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Investigators say an accelerant sparked a fire that badly damaged a Chicago church a day after bricks were thrown through the glass front doors of the building.

Tom Ahern of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told the Chicago Sun-Times that specially trained sniffer dogs detected accelerant in multiple areas of the church.

Saturday morning's fire blackened the inside of the Outreach Community Church on the city's Northwest Side and caused extensive damage, but no one was injured.

Ahern said the vandalism to the front doors occurred Friday.

ATF agents were collecting samples from different areas of the church to determine what kind of accelerant was used. The agents were also interviewing church members and community residents to see if anyone saw anything suspicious.

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