SAUGUS, Mass. — Investigators say a juvenile was responsible for setting a fire that damaged a historic Massachusetts church.

The state Fire Marshal’s office announced Tuesday that the juvenile set fire to wooden and plastic pallets stacked behind the First Congregational Church in Saugus on Dec. 8.

No injuries were reported but heat from the fire damaged the church’s siding, the windows, and caused some internal soot damage.

Power lines also caught on fire, and National Grid had to turn off electricity as firefighters battled the blaze.

The suspect’s name, age and gender were not disclosed. Fire officials say they will recommend the Saugus resident be referred to a juvenile fire setting intervention program.

The church was founded in 1737, and the current building dates to 1852.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.