- Associated Press - Monday, November 13, 2017

VALE, N.C. (AP) - Federal agents are helping investigate a church fire in North Carolina where “anti-gay hate group” was spray painted in several places outside the building.

Authorities say firefighters were called to the Providence Baptist Church in Vale around 2 a.m. Monday.

Authorities told media outlets the fire appeared to be concentrated in a downstairs area of the church where Sunday school classes were held. They say there also was smoke damage to the sanctuary upstairs at the Catawba church.

Pictures from the scene showed “anti-gay hate group” spray-painted in orange on a garage door and a sidewalk.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping local investigators determine the cause of the fire.

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