Man arrested for allegedly setting fire to Methuen church

Police arrested a man Thursday who allegedly set fire to a Methuen church late last month, according to the state fire marshal and local officials.

Lys Walker Vincent, 45, of Lawrence was charged with burning a building and breaking and entering in the night with intent to commit a felony, Methuen police said in a statement.

The arson fire broke out Sept. 24 around 10:15 p.m. at the Christian Church Voice of Salvation on Pleasant Street, police said. The fire damaged a rug and furniture, but no one was injured in the blaze.


The deputy fire chief at the scene first suspected arson after walking through the entryway of the building and noticing the front door’s doorknob on the ground, the Globe reported at the time.

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The Methuen police Detective Division, State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and the Methuen Fire Department conducted an investigation and secured an arrest warrant for Vincent.

Police took him into custody without incident around 12 p.m. Thursday.

“This was a disturbing incident where someone intentionally caused damage to a place of worship, where people are supposed to feel safe,” Methuen Mayor Stephen N. Zanni said in the statement.

Vincent is being held at the Methuen Police Department pending his arraignment in Lawrence District Court.

Alyssa Meyers can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ameyers_.