Arson suspected in Pittsburg church fire

March 21, 2010 6:22:04 PM PDT
An East Bay church is closed indefinitely after a fire broke out Saturday morning. Now, investigators want to know if arson is to blame.

Investigators have determined the location where they think the fire started, but are suspicious because they did not find an obvious source of ignition there. A gas can found near one of the church's windows has also aroused the suspicion of authorities.

The fire was called in around 9 a.m. Saturday morning. The church did not burn down but it did suffer significant damage. The fire grew large enough to burn through the roof. No one was in the building at the time and no injuries were reported.

Church members and the church's pastor say they are sad about the fire, but not discouraged.

"I feel, basically, for my members, those that come from afar, from different areas of the bay, to come to church here" the pastor said. "I have to have the unfortunate task of calling them today and saying to them, 'We won't be having service at this particular location.'"

Members of the Church of the Living God, on Harbor Street, can plan on having church Sunday, but not inside the sanctuary. The pastor told ABC7 he will move the service to a park, parking lot, or possibly another church in the neighborhood.

Firefighters say they do not know if an accelerant was used in the fire and are waiting for test results to come back. The ATF is also investigating the incident.


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