(The Murray United Church as it looked this past year before a fire destroyed the 143-year-old building on Jan. 11)
The man alleged of setting fire to a trio of churches in the Nicola Valley is set to stand trial in June of 2020.
August Caprian will stand trial in a Kamloops courtroom for the alleged arson of the Murray United Church, Crossroads Community Church and the Shulus Catholic Church back in January of 2019.
(Excerpt from Q101’s story on the fires by Roger White)
On Jan.11, RCMP and the Merritt Fire Department were called to the scene of a fire at the Merritt Crossroads Community Church which was quickly extinguished before significant damage occurred.
While fire officials attended to the Crossroads Community Church fire, a second fire was reported from Nicola, that the oldest building in the community, the Murray United Church was ablaze.
When crews arrived at the scene, the structure was fully engulfed in flames and destroyed.
Later that afternoon, Merritt RCMP received another report regarding a break-in at an abandoned church near Shulus. An investigation revealed that a break-in had occurred overnight, and a small fire was lit but appeared to have extinguished itself before doing damage.
A second church nearby was inspected by RCMP who discovered evidence of another break-in and attempted arson.
Efforts to rebuild the Murray Church remain in the fundraising and planning stages.
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