Arrest made in Rocky Branch Church fire

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Lamar County arson investigators have determined the fire that  destroyed the Rocky Branch Missionary Baptist Church early Monday morning was arson.

Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said Colby M. Williamson, 20, of Hattiesburg was arrested Monday evening. Williamson is charged with burning or destruction of a church or place of worship.

The fire was discovered at around 4 a.m. by a passing motorist. Officials said it started in the front of the sanctuary and quickly spread to the attic.

It took firefighters from Oloh, Rocky Branch, Hickory Grove, Central Lamar and Pine Ridge around two hours control the blaze.

The sanctuary, offices, class rooms, and the fellowship hall were a complete loss.

If convicted, Williamson faces anywhere from five to 30 years in the state penitentiary as well as restitution.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.