A Maine man accused of repeatedly trying to set a church on fire is scheduled to face a judge on Monday.
The Massachusetts Fire Marshal’s office said Dushko Vulchev, of Houlton, was charged with several counts of malicious damage and three counts of attempted arson of the Martin Luther King Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The church has a predominantly Black congregation.
Dushko was arrested by Pittsfield police and is due to be arraigned Monday on several counts of malicious damage and three counts of attempted arson at the Martin Luther King Presbyterian Church in Springfield on Dec. 13 and Dec. 15. Authorities also are investigating a fire that heavily damaged the church Dec. 28.
The church was also attacked a few days after Christmas, this time successfully, causing damage to the basement and first floor. The investigation is ongoing.
Dushko, who is from Maine, is being held on bail and will enter his plea in Pittsfield District Court.
Regarding the ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire that caused damage, church pastor Rev Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery wrote on Facebook:
“Beloved, just a few days ago, we celebrated the birth of the Christ Child who reminds us that God is with us always. As I said in my sermon, the Sunday before Christmas, God is with us each time any of us embody the spirit of the Christ Child. We have seen that embodiment in the outpouring of love and support we have received since our church was destroyed by fire. You are a physical reminder that God is with us. We have some tough days ahead but will be sustained by the loving presence of God who holds us close and with your encouragement, prayers, and unwavering support. We feel extremely blessed and are grateful beyond words for your care and concern. We will continue to serve God, the Springfield Community, and beyond.”
(Picture Courtesy: Springfield Fire Department)