• Family of Brewster church fire suspect says he is mentally ill


    BREWSTER (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - The parents of a man accused of burning down a Cape Cod church say their son is mentally ill.

    In a statement released to FOX 25 in Saturday, the family of 29-year-old Adam Finnegan says their thoughts and prayers go out to the congregation of the Cape Cod Bible Alliance Church. They say they were as shocked as the community to learn their son may have set fire to the church.

    The Finnegan family also says they were trying to get help for their son.

    "Our son is mentally ill," reads the statement. "He lived with us on a temporary basis, as we tried to get him help for his illness. He has been in and out of psychiatric inpatient care, but time and time again throughout the years as we have looked to mental health professionals and authorities for help we were told there is nothing further they can do. It saddens us greatly that the mental health system in this country is so broken."

    According to the state fire marshal's office, Finnegan was arrested Friday night and will be charged with one count of burning a building. There's no word on whether he has an attorney.

    Earlier Friday, a spokeswoman for the state fire marshal's office said the blaze at the Cape Cod Bible Alliance Church in Brewster, which broke out around 3 a.m., was intentional. There were no injuries.

    Officials said there's no indication the fire is connected to other arsons investigated in southeastern Massachusetts.

    The 320-member church is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Its members travel internationally to set up churches and help the needy.

    Myron Heckman, pastor since 1978, said the building was renovated in 1997. He said it "holds a lot of memories" but is just a building.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report

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