BOISE, Idaho — A Jehovahs Witnesses church was destroyed by a fire that investigators believe was deliberately set in an act of vandalism rather than an attack on the religious group.
Fire officials said the first crews to arrive at the Kingdom Hall found the building engulfed in flames. Witnesses said they saw two people clad in black who appeared to be teenagers running from the scene shortly after the fire started.
Investigators found the fire was set in a corner of the building, police Sgt. Randy Buzzini told KTVB Television, adding that the action appeared to be random rather than targeted for reasons of religion.
Four Sunday morning services were canceled as church leaders met to plan their next action.
“We have a committee here that’s working on rebuilding already, and it won’t be long and they’ll have it organized and we’ll start cleaning up and we’ll start rebuilding,” said Don Whitlow, a spokesman for the South Congregation of Jehovahs Witness said.
“It’s devastating to see something like this, to any religion, any congregation. It’s devastating to anybody,” Whitlow said.