Local and federal officials are investigating an arson at a Bellingham church.

Security officials received an alarm at the Birchwood Presbyterian Church just before 6:45 a.m. Monday. When a security guard checked on the building, he heard fire crackling and alarms for the sprinkler system go off.

Fire and police officials arrived shortly after and found a small fire in the hallway. They managed to put out the fire with an extinguisher. When they searched the church, they found a larger smoldering fire in the sanctuary which had been put out by the sprinkler system.

Upon further inspection, investigators found someone had broken down a door to get into the church and the two fires were deliberately set.

While the church sustained smoke and some fire damage, the sprinkler system prevented any structural damage.

Investigators from the Bellingham Fire Department, Bellingham Police Department, ATF and FBI are working together on the investigation.

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