NEWBERRY – Investigators are still working to determine the cause of a fire that gutted St. Paul Lutheran Church last week.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, State Law Enforcement Division and the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The fire was spotted around 6:30 a.m. Thursday and gutted the historic church.
Sheriff Lee Foster said deputies did arrest a 17-year-old Silverstreet man on Tuesday and charged him with arson, criminal sexual conduct, resisting arrest and trespassing.
Foster said Christopher Allan Robertson, of 942 Saluda River Resort Road in Silverstreet, was charged for setting a fire on the interstate.
“There is no connection to the church fire,” Foster said of Robertson’s arrest. “We have had so many people try to connect the two. We had been looking for him since (Jan. 8) and there is no information to connect the two at this point.”
Foster added investigators in addition to insurance company investigators are continuing their exhaustive investigation in this fire and a report will be issued once the entire investigation is complete.
“This is a very complex investigation involving a large structure and an intense fire. It is a laborious task to recreate the fire and determine a cause. No one has been arrested in connection to this incident,” said Foster.
St. Paul members will worship Sunday at the old Pomaria Elementary School.