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Man arrested after starting fire at Satanic Temple in Salem

Man arrested after starting fire at Satanic Temple in Salem
Man arrested after starting fire at Satanic Temple in Salem 02:39

SALEM – People inside the Satanic Temple said they got notifications on their phones from their doorbell camera. Someone was on the porch, and the video showed he was lighting the place on fire. 

The video showed a man walking from Bridge Street onto the property at about 10 p.m. Friday. 

In the video, the man walked onto the porch, dropped a backpack and started pouring flammable liquid, according to police. 

The suspect, wearing a t-shirt displaying the word 'God' on the front, walked away. 

Lucien Greaves is the co-founder of the Satanic Temple and said two people were staying in the attached Airbnb at the time of the fire. "We've had some people stop by, we've gotten a lot of threats, but we have never had anyone do anything as blatant as throwing accelerant on our building and lighting it on fire," he said.

Another person associated with the temple was the first to come out and try to extinguish the fire herself before calling 911. 

When first responders arrived, Greaves said they put the fire out quickly but also noticed a man wearing the same clothes as in the video. 

"He came back up the street from the other directions to observe the fire at which point we had already given police images of the man from the security footage," Greaves said. 

Police then arrested 42 year-old Daniel Damien Lucey, of Chelsea. 

Investigators said Lucey confessed to driving up to Salem to light the temple on fire and intended for it to be a hate crime. 

Police charged him with arson of a dwelling, a civil rights violation and destruction of a place of worship. 

Greaves said he knows it could have been worse but believed there was a lesson to be learned. 

"If anyone can get anything out of this, it would be to take a moment, to take a break, from the outrage and speak to people about their beliefs and get a more accurate understanding of who they are," Greaves said.  

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll released a statement on Saturday denouncing the attack on the temple.

"On behalf of the City of Salem, we condemn this hateful attack," Mayor Driscoll said. "Salem is a welcoming place, and the actions of this individual are not reflective of who we are or our values as a community."

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