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Forum Communications Co. report, Published December 02 2010

UPDATED: Dickinson, N.D., man arrested for burglarizing, setting fire to church

DICKINSON, N.D. – Authorities here have arrested a man for allegedly burglarizing and setting fire to a church this morning, one of two church fires local officials had to simultaneously battle.

Joshua Whitworth, 21, of Dickinson, was taken into custody and charged with burglary, arson and possession of stolen property in connection with a burglary and fire at the Church of Christ, according to the Dickinson Police Department.

However, police do not suspect that he was involved with a fire at Hillside Baptist Church which was burning at the same time.

Church of Christ preacher Kenneth Anderson said this morning that someone broke a window and rewired a furnace at the church so it would not turn off.

Dickinson Fire Department firefighters continue cleaning up from the fires at both churches.

The west side of the Church of Christ is black and firefighters said flames were shooting out of the building when they arrived.

The neighboring fire department had firefighters on standby while local firefighters dealt with the churches.

The American Red Cross West Dakota Chapter was also at the churches, according to a news release.

The Dickinson (N.D.) Press is owned by Forum Communications Co.