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Girl, 14, accused of trying to burn Jonesborough church

KRISTEN SWING • Mar 6, 2007 at 11:18 AM

JONESBOROUGH - A 14-year-old girl is facing charges of arson and vandalism after allegedly setting fire to a church in Jonesborough this weekend.

Officers with the Jonesborough Police Department arrested the teenager Tuesday following several days of investigation.

According to reports, the girl set fire to the doors of First Baptist Church, 201 E. Main St., and spray-painted the words "House of Wolves" - the title of a song by the band My Chemical Romance - on a spot in the adjacent church parking lot.

The fire damaged the church doors but burned out before causing significant destruction to the rest of the facility. It was discovered when a church member arrived to prepare for a shower scheduled for that day.

Church workers removed sections of the door and used metal panels as a temporary fix to cover the holes caused by the fire.

Jonesborough Director of Public Safety Craig Ford said the girl had offered no motive, or at least "none that makes a whole lot of sense," for her actions.

"It was obvious she intended to set the church on fire," Ford said. "We believe she had some ties there at one time."

Authorities believe the girl acted alone in vandalizing the church and do not expect any more charges from the incident.

The teen was being held in the Juvenile Detention Center while awaiting a court appearance.

According to church officials, the church was built in 1842 and is the oldest Baptist church in Jonesborough.

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