Gas lines cut, cigarette lighter used as light source
After breaking into the basement of a Franklinville church, cutting a gas line, a cigarette lighter was used as a source of light and ignited a fire.
Two men, one with burns, face charges.
According to a press release from the Randolph County Sheriff's Office, deputies about 12:40 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, responded to Franklinville United Methodist Church at 227 W. Main St.
The Franklinville Fire Department requested a deputy after responding to a hazmat call where they found that electrical wiring and a copper natural gas line had been cut and removed. The Randolph County Fire Marshal’s office was also called due to fire damage in the basement.
Deputies said that about 4 a.m. Monday, the Franklinville Fire Department and Randolph County Emergencies Services responded to a call on Park Street in Franklinville for a burn victim. At the time of the call, the victim claimed he was pouring gas on burning garbage when the gas can he was using exploded. The victim was transported to UNC Hospital for second and third degree burns to his face and hands. The victim was treated and released later Monday afternoon.
At 11:30 a.m., the Franklinville Fire Department responded to the church when a member found a strong odor of natural gas inside the building. Fire department personnel found the fire damage, the cut gas line and damaged electrical wiring.
Deputies and detectives with the Sheriff’s Office quickly linked the burn victim to the church hazmat situation. The first suspect and burn victim was identified as Kyle Coleman, 24, of Asheboro. The second suspect was identified as Kevin Coleman, 19, of Asheboro.
At the home of the brothers, detectives found copper wiring and tubing that was taken from the church .
Kevin Coleman was also taken into custody at this time. Kyle Coleman was taken into custody after returning home from the hospital later Monday evening.
The fire caused minimal damage to the flooring and basement of the church. The removal of the gas line and wiring caused other damage to the church.
An estimate of the cost of the damage to the church has not been determined at this time, deputies said.
The gas line was cut during the early morning causing at least eight to nine hours worth of natural gas to flow into the church.
Both men were each charged with breaking and entering a place of worship, felony larceny, possession of stolen goods, and gunning of a church or religious building. The suspects are confined in the Randolph County Jail under a $75,000 secured bond.