Copy Cat Church Fire

A man described as mentally disturbed is in jail on suspicion of setting fire to an abandoned church building in the White Plains community, in Calhoun County.

The fire happened Monday night; authorities describe it as a copycat case after a string of recent church arsons in rural Alabama.

Officials say 21-year-old Jason Phillips lived beside the old White Plains Church of God and has a brother who is a volunteer firefighter, and the man wanted to see his brother put out the fire.

Authorities say the arrest was, "absolutely not" linked to a string of fires that have destroyed or damaged 10 rural Baptist Churches since Feb. 3 in central and west Alabama.

Federal agents say no arrests have been made in those arson-related blazes.


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