Last week's fire at Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina was caused by lightning, with "no criminal intent," reported federal and state investigators.
According to NBC, local investigators, along with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, stated that the blaze was sparked by "natural causes."
Prior to closing the investigation, South Carolina's Law Enforcement Division released a statement: "Based upon the scene examination, the first debris analysis, witness statements and a lightning-strike report, the cause of the fire was best classified as natural."
This is not the first time that this historic Black church suffered a brutal fire. Twenty years ago, it was burned to the ground by the Ku Klux Klan, and is, most recently, one of seven historic Black churches throughout the south to have been burned since the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.
The feds have not found any links among the fires.
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(Photo: Veasey Conway/The Morning News via AP)