Charles County church cleans up after intentionally set fire - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Charles County church cleans up after intentionally set fire

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You can still see the bent frame where the window was kicked in at Potomac Heights Baptist Church in Indian Head, Md.

"They stuck their hand in and then you can see where the pattern for the accelerant that they sprayed," says Pastor Brian Sandifer. "There are also patterns on the chairs."

He got the call very early Wednesday morning that the church was on fire.

"The smoke was everywhere," says Sandifer.

But the fire was isolated to a fairly small area.

"By the grace of God, it didn't catch the wooden rafters that we have up top," Sandifer says. "Had it gotten into the wooden rafters, we could have lost the entire building."

On Thursday, next to the crisp, white steeple, there are green cleanup trucks. The smoke left a layer of black soot everywhere. Every piece of equipment, every surface has to be scrubbed. They are also wiping away anger.

"One of the ways that we need to process this is understanding that this is our building," says Sandifer. "This is where we meet, but the people are our church."

The State Fire Marshal is investigating.

"No clue at all. We haven't received any threats. Nobody disgruntled with the church that I'm aware of," says the pastor.

He thinks it may be something as simple as a teenage prank.

"Just love to talk to him," says Sandifer. "Don't have any anger toward the person particularly, but I'd love to sit down and talk to that individual and find out why they did what they did."

What happened here at the chapel won't disrupt Sunday services all that much. Because they have more space, they actually worship in the building next door, but you can bet that at this Sunday's service, they will be saying an extra prayer of forgiveness.

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