Fire Marshal investigating fire at Smithfield church

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) – The State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating an early morning fire at the New Life Worship Center on Douglas Pike in Smithfield.

The corner of one of the buildings on the church campus is torched after going up in flames at about 6 a.m. Monday.

“The fire penetrated through the wall and into the interior, and there’s a lot of smoke damage inside the structure,” said Michael Sweeney, the chief of fire investigations for the division of the State Fire Marshal.

No one was inside the building when the fire started, according to Sweeney.

The area where the fire started was where the church put its trash, Sweeney said. The bins were full of garbage after the church held a service with refreshments last night.

An ATF agent is assisting in the investigation, which Sweeney said is common. Investigators have not yet determined if the fire was accidental or intentional.

”I think anything’s possible,” Sweeney said. “Everything’s still on the table for us.”

The Smithfield church had already planned to hold Christmas services at the Vets auditorium in Providence, so holiday plans have not been affected.

Pastor Steve Boyce said the church has turned over security video to authorities.