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Maine man charged with attempted arson for fires at predominantly Black church in Springfield

12/28/2020 -Springfield- Springfield firefighters on the scene at a fire that caused heavy damage to the Martin Luther King Presbyterian Church on Concord Terrace. (Springfield Fire Department)Springfield Fire Department

A Maine man was arrested Friday and charged with attempted arson in connection with three fires set at a predominantly Black church in Springfield last month, authorities said Saturday.

Dushko Vulchev, of Houlton, Maine, was charged with several counts of malicious damage and three counts of attempted arson, according to a statement from the state Department of Fire Services.

Vulchev allegedly attempted to burn Martin Luther King Jr. Community Presbyterian Church once on Dec. 13 and twice on Dec. 15, authorities said. A fourth fire set on Dec. 28, which left the church unusable but not fully destroyed, is still under investigation, according to the statement.


“It’s a church that burned at nighttime, so it’s a potential hate crime,” Springfield fire Commissioner BJ Calvi told reporters last month.

Vulchev was arrested Friday by Pittsfield police and is being held on bail while awaiting arraignment Monday morning in Pittsfield District Court, authorities said.

Stefania Lugli can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @steflugli.