SALEM, Mass. — A Chelsea man has been charged with arson in connection with a fire at the Satanic Temple in Salem Friday night.
Police responded to a blaze on the front porch of the building at 64 Bridge St. and were unable to put the flames out with fire extinguishers. The Temple was evacuated, and the Salem Fire Department was able to contain the fire, police said.
The building sustained damage to the front porch area. No injuries were reported.
Police said a person was seen pouring a flammable liquid on the porch and setting it on fire. They arrested Daniel Damien Lucey, 42, at the scene and charged him with arson of a dwelling, civil rights violations and destruction of a place of worship.
Lucey told officers he traveled to Salem for the express purpose of setting fire to the Temple and called his actions a “hate crime,” according to a statement from the Salem Police Department.
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll called the fire a “hateful attack.”
“I am enormously grateful for the quick and professional response by the Salem Police and Fire departments to last night’s criminal arson attempt and share our community’s relief that no one was hurt in this awful incident,” Driscoll said in a statement. “On behalf of the City of Salem, we condemn this hateful attack. Salem is a welcoming place, and the actions of this individual are not reflective of who we are or our values as a community.”
Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson for the Temple, shared images on Twitter of a person wearing a T-shirt with “GOD” written on it, who Greaves said “dumped an accelerant on The Satanic Temple headquarters and lit it on fire.”
Greaves tweeted Saturday morning that the fire did not spread to the house, and the extent of damage to the porch has yet to be determined.
“The outpouring of support has been truly moving. Thank you, everybody,” Greaves wrote.
Salem Police said Lucey remains in custody.
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