Updated: Saturday, 08 Nov 2008, 11:45 AM EST
Published : Thursday, 06 Nov 2008, 9:40 AM EST
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A fire on Wednesday morning destroyed a church under construction in the Sixteen Acres section of Springfield. Now state fire marshals, the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau, and the FBI are investigating.
Fire crews were first called around 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday to the Macedonia Church of God in Christ at 215 Tinkham Road. 22news cameras captured the steeple crashing down as the fire continued to burn the church to the ground.
Springfield Fire Department Spokesman Dennis Leger said three firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze. They were taken to Baystate Medical Center where they were treated and released.
Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr. told 22News the church was one year into construction and was expected to open in the spring of 2009. One parishioner told 22News that he considers the fire suspicious.
"We just had an African-American take the highest office and you know people fear change. Change is inevitable. I consider this to be a crime of hate," parishioner John Haygood said.
Leger estimated about $2.5 million in damage to the church.
If you have any information regarding the fire at the Macedonia Church of God in Christ, please call 1-800-682-9229.