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Fritzl town firebug attacks four churches

An arsonist caused millions of pounds worth of damage to a number of churches in Josef Fritzl's home town of Amstetten in Lower Austria over the Christmas break.

Local police spokesman Erich Rosenbau said the arsonist  had set a blaze at one church and fled – then while emergency services were occupied in tackling the blaze he had set blazes at three other churches.

He said they had taken witness statements that indicated a young man seen at two of the three fires was connected with the arson attacks.

In the arson attacks a church on Rathausstraße 16 im Amstetten was almost completely destroyed. The damage included a confessional chair dating back to 1824 that was also destroyed in the fire and many other antiques and works of art that were burnt.

The Kloterkirche in Amstetten was also set alight. The arsonist then tried to set alight the Stadtpfarrkirche St. Stephan also in Amstetten but this was stopped by an alert local.

A fire was also started on a notice board in the Herz-Jesu Kirche in the Preinsbacherstraße 21. This was quickly put out before further damage could be done again by a church goer.

Police say that the man they are looking for is thought to be aged between 20-25, has dark hair, and is around 1.75 metres tall with an athletic build.

According to witnesses the man appeared to be drunk and was dressed in a black jacket, skater jeans and white trainers.

There is a 5,000 Euro reward being offere for any information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.

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