Historic wood church burnt down in Finland
An over-250-year-old church was destroyed by fire on Sunday in Kiihtelysvaara, a parish east of the city of Joensuu, in eastern Finland.
Firefighters reached the location minutes after an automatic alarm. Only a separate standing steeple could be saved.
Police inspector Kimmo Wetterstrand told local media that criminality was probably connected. When rescuers had gone in to remove works of art, no smoke or flames were detected inside, while walls outside were ablaze.
If arson is confirmed, this would be the second total loss of a historic church as a result of arson within two years.
In 2016 a wooden church from the same mid-1700 era was destroyed in Ylivieska, northwestern Finland. The arsonist was not sentenced, but despatched to mental treatment.