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Man faces arson charge after fire at Satanic Temple in Salem

WCVB Boston logo WCVB Boston 6/11/2022
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A Massachusetts man is facing multiple charges as he stands accused of intentionally setting a fire at the Satanic Temple in Salem.

Salem police said 42-year-old Daniel Damien Lucey, of Chelsea, was arrested late Friday night after a fire was reported at the temple on Bridge Street.

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According to police, they received numerous 911 calls at about 10:05 p.m. reporting that the Satanic Temple was on fire.

Officers found the front porch burning when they arrived at the scene and their efforts to put out the flames with fire extinguishers were unsuccessful.

The temple, which was occupied at the time, was evacuated and Salem firefighters were able to contain and extinguish the fire.

Salem police said the temple sustained damage to its front porch area. No injuries were reported.

Investigators then determined that the fire was deliberately set and that a person, later identified as Lucey, was seen pouring a flammable liquid on the porch and setting it on fire.

Lucien Greaves, a co-founder of the Satanic Temple, tweeted security camera images that appeared to show a man spreading liquid on the temple's porch before walking away from the flames.

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"This holy crusader in a 'GOD' T-shirt just dumped an accelerant on the Satanic Temple headquarters and lit it on fire," Greaves tweeted.

Salem police said Lucey was arrested without incident at the scene. According to police, Lucey admitted to traveling to Salem for the express purpose of setting fire to the Satanic Temple while he was being interviewed by officers. Police said Lucey then made statements that he considered his actions to be a "hate crime."

“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," Salem Mayor Kim 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.”

Salem police said Lucey remains in custody on the following charges: arson of a dwelling, destruction of a place of worship and civil rights violations.


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