Lookout Valley Nazarene Church fire ruled as arson

| June 22, 2010

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – Investigators say a fire at a church daycare, was arson. It happened late Sunday night at Lookout Valley Nazarene.

The pastor says quick action by the firefighters saved the building.

"I didn't rest well last night," Joshua Fite is the pastor at Lookout Valley Church of Nazarene. He says he didn't know what he would be facing Monday morning.

"It was a little more than I thought, I knew it was confined to the room but still more than I anticipated," says Fite.

A fire damaged what they call the "K-4 room" for pre-kindergarten students. Signs of the flames and the heat still hang.

Investigators say they've collected evidence that shows someone intentionally set the blaze. Fite says it appears someone broke the window and threw something inside.

"There's no suspects, but it's looking like it's arson," says Fite.

A thought that can be unsettling and provokes questions. Who would set fire to a church daycare and why?

"Things do happen. What matters most is our responsibility to the people and to the situation," says Fite.

Pastor Fite and his wife Michelle were at the church Monday to assess the situation and do what they can to get the children back in place as soon as possible.

"They're working on a K-4 room in another place, just making a makeshift room because we cant' get back in there for a while," says Michelle Fite, church daycare director.

"Honestly we're worried about getting it done so the kids can get back in here. It's a strain for the parents who work," says Pastor Fite.

The classroom fish and two frogs died in the fire. Fite says he's just grateful the daycare was empty otherwise.

"My main concern is no one was hurt and what could've been worse wasn't, we're thankful for that," says Pastor Fite.

The damage is estimated at $50,000. They're waiting for the insurance adjuster and the fire inspector so they can decide how to move forward.



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Category: Church Security

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