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Douglas Church Square fires intentionally set, police say; Suspect arrested

DOUGLAS, Ariz. (KGUN) — Investigators determined that fires that damaged two historic churches on Monday and early Tuesday were intentionally set, the Douglas Police Department said.

Investigators have identified Eric Ridener as a person of interest, according to police, and Douglas Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have authorized a search warrant to execute a search warrant at Ridener’s home outside Douglas. Identified the reason.

Lidenor was taken into custody during the search and later arrested as a suspect by the ATF. He was taken to Cochise County Jail and will remain in federal custody. Rydenor will be indicted in federal court.

Court officials told KGUN 9 not to expect Ridenor to appear before Thursday or Friday. At that point, the documents should have detailed the incident.

Until then, you can look more closely at the law.

Under federal law, there are several variations of arson charges. But now, Eric Ridener faces one of the most basic sins. It is primarily aimed at arson of business premises and concerns “actual or attempted damage or destruction of buildings, vehicles, or other real or personal property by fire or explosives.”

If convicted, Ridener could face at least five years in prison and up to 20 years in prison. If someone is injured, the range is at least 7 years and up to 40 years in prison.

It’s important to note that this charge is not mentioned. Federal arson laws have versions related to terrorism, but those laws were not used in this case.

Douglas Police, Douglas Fire, ATF, Gilbert Fire, and the FBI are involved in the investigation.

Police said the motive for the fire has not yet been determined. The investigation is still ongoing.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church, both over 100 years old, were damaged by smoke and fire.

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Google Earth | Kugun9

Stephen’s Episcopal Church was the first to catch fire on Monday morning.

Church pastor Caleb Collins entered the remaining part of the building for the first time Wednesday morning.

“It’s really hard to walk into an office where you’ve met people, talked about life, talked about sorrows and joys,” he said. “And just being there and seeing the ash covering the floor doesn’t seem real, but it happened.”

Three buildings on the site were damaged by the fire.

Collins said the congregation has relied on the support of the community and each other during this period, which aids in the healing process.

“Our close relationship has allowed us to keep our faith in God, Jesus, and each other, and we’re just taking one step at a time,” he said.

Collins is still working with Church Insurance on next steps. He said boards would be installed on standing objects to make the building safe.

Related: Mayor Donald Husch Douglas says church fire ‘certainly looks suspicious’

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Craig Smith Craig is a reporter for KGUN 9. He has covered over 30 years in cities such as Tampa, Houston and Austin. Craig has covered more than 40 space shuttle launches and historical hurricanes such as Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. I was.Share story ideas and key issues with Craig via email craig.smith@kgun9.com or by connecting Facebook and twitter.

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Anne Simmons Digital content producer for KGUN 9. Anne started her television career while still a student at the University of Arizona. Prior to joining KGUN, he managed multiple public access his television stations in the Bay Area and worked as a video producer in the non-profit sector. Share story ideas and key issues with Anne via email anne.simmons@kgun9.com or by connecting Instagram, twitter again LinkedIn.

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