Arson, burglary at Black church in Maryland, authorities say

A person started a fire inside the vestibule of a predominately Black church in Maryland and also burglarized the house of worship, authorities said.

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Firefighters responding to a call about the fire at Judah Temple Ministries extinguished the blaze just after 5 a.m. Sunday, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department said in a news release Monday.

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A neighbor who reported the fire told investigators that “he observed somebody throw somebody through the window of the church” before the blaze ignited, Capt. Russ Davies, a spokesperson for the fire department, told the Capital Gazette.

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No one was injured, but the Shady Side church sustained an estimated $10,000 in damages caused by the fire, the burglary, and damage to headstones, officials said. Authorities did not give additional details on what was taken from the church.

The fire department is asking anyone with information about the fire to contact investigators as they attempt to identity and locate the person of interest.

The church was built over a century ago, WTOP-FM reported. It is located about 20 miles (32.2 kilometers) south of Annapolis.