HOLLYWOOD, Florida. (WSVN) – Police are investigating a possible arson attack on a church in Hollywood.
The fire started at the front door of The Church of Jesus Christ at 5880 W. Park Road at around 1:00 am Thursday.
“Very lucky it’s very short of time because you see a lot of wood on display,” said Pastor Justin Severson. “It could have burned. It could have been really bad.
7News cameras captured Severson trying to repair some of the damage, which he said was intentional. Severson said he received a call from police advising him of the fire. By the time he got to church, he said, the fire was out.
“I learned never to judge someone because you never know their upbringing, how they could have had a terrible, very difficult education,” he said, “and so we don’t know the circumstances, but we know God forgives and able to change any situation. This is what I recommend – that one finds God and peace in his heart.
According to the pastor, about a year ago, another person set fire to under a window.
A burn mark is also visible on the roof of the church. A broken beer bottle was found on the ground nearby, and a church member pointed to what appeared to be the top of a Molotov cocktail.
Last July, about 900 feet from the church, a fire starter was filmed starting a fire at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, which damaged the exterior of the church. There is a reward of $ 7,500 for information leading to the arrest of this person.
Church members plan reparations and move forward, hoping that the responsible person will hear their message. Severson said his church has around 50 members and several of them have visited the scene to help with repairs.
The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the blaze, but they have yet to rule the blaze as arson.
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