Washington: Two churches burn in an arson attack
A Baptist and Catholic church buildings were damaged by fires in arson attacks Sunday morning in Brewster, a town in central Washington.
On the 15th of November, Sacred Heart Catholic Church suffered some fire damage near the sanctuary from an incendiary device dropped through a broken window. On the same morning, a block away, New Testament Baptist Church was also damaged by fire in its interior.
Investigators have deemed the fire at Sacred Heart to be intentional, police say. The police have not yet made the same pronouncement about the fire at the Baptist church, but the investigation is ongoing.
Father Pedro Bautista, Sacred Heart’s pastor, told CNA that most of Sacred Heart’s parishioners are Hispanic and that the community is “fearful” after the incident.
“This is just adding more stress to the lives of the people,” he said.
Father Bautista noticed the fire when he went to open the church on Sunday morning. At that point, the local fire department was already battling the fire at the nearby Baptist church, which appears to have been set around 2 am, and was discovered around 5 am.
The fire damaged a chair and some carpet near the sanctuary at Sacred Heart. Father Bautista said the fire department and the police were surprised that the fire did not do more damage.
According to a local media report, even though the fire at the Baptist church did not destroy the building, but the damage to the interior was significant enough that the building may be beyond salvage.
Source, photo: Catholic News Agency