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Indiana Residents Confess to Church Fires

Contact: John S. Robison, State Fire Marshal

(334) 241-4166


Yorktown, Indiana resident Jay S. Ballinger has admitted to investigators the setting of numerous fires involving places of worship throughout the United States.

Ballinger confessed while recovering from burns received while setting a fire in Kentucky. His confession indicates that churches were burned in several states, possibly including Alabama.

At the same time, a second Indiana resident, Angela Wood, admitted being present when several fires were set.

State and federal investigators, including personnel from the Alabama State Fire Marshals Office are in Indiana conducting a joint investigation. Investigators are attempting to develop additional information which will verify Ballinger and Wood being in specific areas of the country when fires occurred.

Additional investigators from the State Fire Marshals Office are pursuing leads, in places other than Indiana, which will enable the Indiana Task Force to develop further information.

The State Fire Marshals Office will not speculate which fires in Alabama may be the responsibility of Ballinger and Wood.