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Arrest for Arson


Tallahassee, Florida- Acting on information received from the public, investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Tallahassee Fire Department (TFD) have arrested Franklin J. Washington in connection with the church fire that occurred the afternoon of July 4 in the 2400 block of Dantzler Street. The fire, which began in the kitchen, resulted in an estimated $30,000 worth of fire and smoke damage. The congregations of the New Bethlehem Church and the Greater Antioch Church of Christ Written were using the building for church services on alternating Sundays.

Washington was also charged with three counts of burglary at the church, burglary to a conveyance, and arson of a vehicle. All crimes occurred in the area of the church fire.

The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is the law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assisted the Tallahassee Fire Department's law enforcement investigators in the investigation of these fires. Anyone with information about any suspicious fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON) or the TFD Arson Hotline at (850) 891-FIRE. Information also may be mailed to Arson Control, P.O. Box 1654, Winter Park, Fl 32790.