Authorities say an arsonist set fire to an Eastern Carolina African American church Tuesday night. The Perquimans County Fire Marshal's Office says the fire at Spirit and Truth United Methodist Church in Winfall was intentionally set.
Church officials say that someone broke into the building and that a wall between the sanctuary and fellowship hall was burned. Firefighters were alerted around 9:30 p.m. and they saw smoke from the back of the church.
Firefighters said they faced intense heat and smoke, but were able to extinguish the fire shortly after getting inside.
The fire marshal says the church suffered extreme heat and smoke damage throughout the entire building.
Some 30 firefighters from three fire departments were at the scene.