an arson fire in Costa Mesa, CA 1987

Copyright 1987 The Times Mirror Company

Los Angeles Times

December 7, 1987, Monday, Orange County Edition

SECTION: Metro; Part 2; Page 2; Column 5; Metro Desk

HEADLINE: ORANGE COUNTY DIGEST: TUSTINLOCAL NEWS IN BRIEF; ARSON SUSPECT ARRESTED IN $170,000 CHURCH FIRE

A Costa Mesa man who telephoned police to claim responsibility for a $170,000 fire in a church was arrested on suspicion of arson, authorities said Sunday.

Tustin police said Michael Anthony Murray, 19, called the Costa Mesa Police Department about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, claiming that he set fire to the Tustin Church of Scientology earlier that morning.

The unoccupied church in the 1400 block of Irvine Boulevard was discovered ablaze about 2:12 a.m. Saturday, fire officials said. One firefighter was treated for minor smoke inhalation, but there were no serious injuries reported.

A Tustin police spokesman said no motive for setting the fire has been established, and investigators also were uncertain whether Murray had any association with the church.

But a church spokeswoman reached Sunday said that no church members knew of Murray.

Murray, who was being held Sunday in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, told investigators he had moved to Orange County from Maryland about six months ago.

[Note; there's a Mike Murray listed in my old names list. "184" is next to it and a bunch of nearby names - don't know what that means. A friend recalls this as being a disgruntled member.]


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