Vicar escapes arson attack

| November 26, 2009

AN arson attack which started in the church kitchen could have ended in tragedy.

An electric oven at St James Church, Stanley Avenue, Alperton, was piled high with combustible materials and then switched on in the attack, which took place in the early hours of November 19.

Smoke was discovered billowing out of the church kitchen and the oven ablaze at around 5.15am when a cleaner arrived for work at the church earlier than usual.

Police, fire and ambulance services attended the incident.

No casualties were reported and the fire starter had fled, leaving some traces of blood at the scene.

Church leader, Rev John Root said: "They smashed a glass panel in the kitchen and broke in to the church that way.

"There was blood and a first aid box was vandalised so we assume that someone got hurt."

He found out about the arson attack when he was woken by the fire services. He said that he can think of no reason for the attack, adding: "There's no motive we can think of. I suspect it was drug addicts who needed food or money. The blood sample may provide a clue."

Services continued as usual although a nursery group who usually meet in the church had to be moved away from the crime scene for the day.

The church building has fallen prey to vandals several times in its 19 year history.

Police are treating the incident as suspicious.

Detective Sergeant, Arrowsmith of Brent Police said, "I am appealing for anyone with any information regarding this incident to call Brent Police on 733 3153."

If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Category: Church Security

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