Arson Investigation After Fire at California Church

Authorities were working to identify an arsonist who set a fire at a Catholic church in Casa de Oro (CA), reports ABC 10 News.

Santa Sophia’s Pastor Father Jacob Bertrand said there was a lot of damage to the Church’s altar which houses their historic crucifix. The fire also forced them to find a different place to hold a funeral which was scheduled for Wednesday. They also had to break the news to their preschool through eight grade students.

Tuesday night, the smoke billowed out of the doorways and brought many parishioners living nearby out to see what was going on.

The noninjury fire at Santa Sophia Church at 9800 San Juan St. was reported shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Bomb-Arson Unit Detective Anthony Portillo.

Fire crews from Cal Fire and the San Miguel Fire District arriving on scene saw smoke coming from the church and knocked the fire down within 10 to 15 minutes.

Father Jacob Bertrand said there were two community events occurring in buildings across a parking lot from the church, but that there was no official activity inside the church.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department bomb/arson unit and the ATF are investigating the cause of the fire.

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