Church youth building fire under investigation - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Church youth building fire under investigation

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The youth ministry building at Victory Cornerstone Church was damaged by fire. The youth ministry building at Victory Cornerstone Church was damaged by fire.

Monday morning, there was a suspicious fire at a Marshall County church.

Agents from ATF were on the scene examining the youth ministry building of the Victory Cornerstone Church in Arab.

The inside of the building was vandalized and words were spray painted on the walls. Investigators did not release what was spray painted on the walls.

Arab investigators say local police and fire ambulance units came to the church around 8 a.m. to deal with a medical call. That's when someone noticed smoke coming from the children's youth building.

Fire crews responded and put out the smoldering fire.

Investigators believe it was started overnight, as the fire was putting itself out after doing great smoke damage to the building.

Once inside, they found several areas where fires had been started and other evidence of arson.

The youth pastor is devastated at what's happened, but he also said he has a place in his heart for the person that committed the arson.

"Just devastated really.  Wondering why someone would do something like that," said youth pastor, Brad Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick is at a loss why someone would do damage to the church's youth house just two days after Easter.

"We are going to be praying for him.  We're going to be concerned more where his soul is going to be in eternity rather than what our building is going to be," he said.

Investigators are sifting through evidence after deeming the fire arson.

Investigators say it was discovered when police and medics came to the main church building for a medical call.

"Smoke was coming from the eaves of the building and from the basement area of the building.  He notified the fire department," said Sgt. Dan Henry.

But when fire crews responded, they found clear evidence of arson as there were multiple locations where the fire had started as well as the arsonist leaving a message through vandalism.

Investigators are declining to comment on the words spray painted inside the building but continue to collect evidence to build a case against the arsonist.

While the youth pastor says he's concerned about the arsonist's soul, he's also interested in seeing he's arrested.

"You know, I would like to meet him and pray with him," Kilpatrick said.

Arab Police say they do not have a suspect, but they do say a white male was seen walking in the road by the church sometime between midnight and three Tuesday morning.

If you have any information who this man may be, you are asked to contact Arab Police.

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