San Jose congregation shocked after arsonist starts fire at their church

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A South Bay congregation is in shock after cameras captured a man in a hoodie starting a fire at the Assyrian Church of the East in San Jose.

The flames damaged a storage shed and an outside staircase.

They say if firefighters had not come as quickly as they did, their beloved sanctuary may have burned to the ground.

They are trying to figure out who would want to damage their church.

"If someone comes to the house of God and burn that church, either he is evil or he doesn't believe in anything else," church member Vanya Pazand said.

There's no question it was arson.

Video from security cameras on the gated property shows a man in a hoodie, scaling a fence, and then setting the storage shed on fire.

The video is now in the hands of investigators-from both the ATF and the San Jose Fire Department.

Arson investigators are not revealing much, only saying that this case is open and ongoing.

About 450 families attend this Christian church near San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood.

They've read about Assyrian churches being burned in Syria and Iraq over the past few years.

The fact that someone has tried to do the same at their church has them feeling uneasy.

The congregation is now putting their faith in the investigation. They're hopeful those working on the case will provide some answers.
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