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The Rochester Police and Fire Departments have issued a call for the public’s help in an arson investigation involving a church.

A news release says investigators have determined the fire at Peace United Church of Christ was the result of arson. It’s estimated the fire in the early morning hours of April 18 caused more than $2.5 million in damage to the property at 1503 2nd Avenue Northeast.

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Rochester firefighters were called to the church around 2 in the morning and found a large amount of thick smoke in the building. The flames were confined to an area of the lower level between the school and tha sanctuary, but there was significant smoke damage throughout the building. There was also some water damage from the sprinkler head that activated and helped control the fire.

Information useful to investigators can be delivered anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or the Arson Hotline at 1-800-723-2020. Anyone who shares information that leads to the identification of th arsonist will be eligible for a reward.

Investigator Todd Schwanke can be reached directly at 507-328-2894 or tschwanke@rochestermn.gov.

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