SPRINGFIELD (WBZ) ― A suspicious fire at a church in Springfield my have been a deliberate act or a hate crime, a bishop tells a local newspaper.
The fire broke out at the Macedonia Church of God in Christ on Tinkham Road shortly after 3 a.m.
According to the Springfield Republican, the church is a predominantly black church.
The building was still under construction, but fire officials say damage done to the church is estimated to be about $2 million.
According to the paper, the fire was started hours after it was learned that Barack Obama was to become the nation's first African American president.
Springfield Fire Department spokesman Dennis Leger would only tell the Republican the fact that the building was vacant is cause for suspicion.
The fire department would not say if the fire was in fact a hate crime. "Any vacant building is suspicious until proven otherwise," he told the paper.
The current location of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ is on King Street.