A Monday morning fire at a Massachusetts Black church is being investigated as possible arson, authorities said.
Local, state and federal authorities are looking into the blaze at the heavily damaged Martin Luther King Community Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Fire Commissioner Bernard Calvi told reporters.
"At this time we have not identified anybody," he said.
The blaze was reported at 5 a.m. and took firefighters about an hour to get under control. The fire was limited to the basement and first floor, Calvi said. However, the building is unstable because of the damage.
No one was injured.
"It’s terrible that someone tried to burn down Martin Luther King Community Presbyterian Church," Mayor Domenic Sarno said. "It looks to be an arson type of situation and we are reviewing cameras."
The area has seen smaller fires in the past few weeks, Calvi said.
"It's highly suspicious because there's been three other fires in this general area in the last three weeks," Calvi said.
Investigators are trying to rule out the possibility the fire was the result of an accident and other causes, Calvi said.
In 2008, a few hours after Barack Obama was elected president, a Black church in Springfield was destroyed in an intentionally set fire that authorities said was racially motivated. Three White men were arrested and convicted.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.