BURNS — A 21-year-old parishioner of Holy Family Church here was arrested and charged with arson after a fire destroyed the parish hall on Nov. 9.
After an investigation assisted by the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, John Diaz was taken into custody by Harney County sheriff’s deputies with a $1 million bail, according to Sheriff Dave Glerup. Diaz faces charges of first-degree arson, second-degree burglary, possession and manufacture of a destructive device, first-degree criminal mischief and tampering with evidence.
The 6,300-square-foot, 55-year-old parish hall has a large gathering hall, kitchen and classrooms. The building is insured, but could cost up at $1 million to replace, according to Baker Diocese Bishop Robert Vasa.
Firefighters kept the blaze from reaching the church sanctuary, and no one was injured.
Holy Family’s pastor is Father Stanislaus Strzyz.
Category: Church Security