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6045Priest: arson may have caused Petersburg church fire

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  • arbible
    Aug 31, 2006
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      31 August 2006, 17:21 Priest: arson may have caused Petersburg church fire
      St. Petersburg, August 31, Interfax - The August 18 fire in St. Petersburg's Trinity Cathedral may have been arson, a cathedral priest said on Thursday, citing the metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, Vladimir.

      Vladimir visited the cathedral on Wednesday, Father Konstantin, a priest, told a news conference in St. Petersburg.

      "[Vladimir] said arson may have been the cause of the fire. Very often people would come round and threaten that we will get blown up with our six-pointed stars on the domes," Konstantin said.

      The fire broke out at a height of 30 to 40 meters on scaffolding around the central dome, which was undergoing partial restoration. The fire spread over an area of about 1,800 square meters and affected the central dome, one of the other four domes, and the roof of the building.

      Konstantin said the scaffolding had been treated with a fire retardant and "no cigarette stub could have caused such a fire."

      "Very many of our parishioners who at that time were in the market nearby and saw the fire say the dome went ablaze instantly, as though gasoline had been poured over it and then lit," the priest said.

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