Frenchtown Rural Fire crews were dispatched to an historic church in Alberton late Sunday night for a fire in the basement.

Spokesman Mel Holtz provided details of the response.

“Just after midnight we received a page for a church fire in Alberton,” said Holtz. “The church is just over a half mile from our station so our initial engine arrived in just a few minutes. The crews were able to get the fire contained only to the basement causing extensive damage to the basement area and there was smoke damage upstairs in the church itself.”

Holtz emphasized the fact that the church was more than 100 years old and was gratified that the response was quick enough to keep the church from being seriously damaged, however he did say that the fire was suspicious in nature.

“The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office as well as the State Fire Marshall’s Office, along with Frenchtown Fire conducted that investigation and the Sheriff’s Office made one arrest in conjunction with that fire,” he said. “Due to the historic nature of the church, it will take time to thoroughly investigate the fire.”

The name of the suspect was not released, nor was there an estimate of the damage to the church.