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BURLINGTON, Vt.

Man charged with arson in Vt. church fire

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Police say a man has been charged with arson in connection with a fire at a historic church near downtown. Police were called at 5:34 a.m. Wednesday after the custodian at the College Street Congregational Church found a door open and heard someone in the steeple. Alaiksandr Bychkou, 32, of South Burlington was found inside the church and was initially taken into custody on a charge of unlawful trespass. Shortly afterward, the bell tower erupted in flames. Fire Chief Seth Lasker said that the fire was largely contained to the steeple and that the building is not a total loss.

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