SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Reverend Talbert Swan and Springfield Representative Bud Williams held a press conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the MLK Jr. Community Presbyterian Church fire.
Reverend Swan and Representative Williams wanted to be a voice of the community in the area of the church fire. They are asking Springfield Police and Fire to take “proactive steps” to work on preventing future incidents.
While the MLK Jr. Community Presbyterian Church fire is not being ruled an arson attempt yet, Reverend Swan and Representative Williams hope to prevent hate crimes in the future. They say community members would like to be more informed on the situation and that police should work to increase security in areas of the city.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS), the fire is not officially being called intentionally-set because the investigation into the origin and cause is ongoing but Springfield Firefighters says it’s suspicious.
All possible causes are being considered as investigative teams from the Springfield Arson and Bomb Squad, with assistance from the State Police Arson and Bomb Squad, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) work to determine where the fire started and then how.
A $5,000 reward has been set for any information leading to a suspect or cause. You can call the arson hotline at 800-682-9229.