Texas Church Fire Ruled Arson

May 29, 2008


A fire scene in Horizon City quickly turned into a crime scene when firefighters determined a church had been intentionally set on fire.

Members of Comunidad Evangelica Vida Abundate, also known as CEVA, said they were not surprised by the incident.

"About a month ago, we had had a situation where we had seen smoke marks where someone had tried to start a fire. I guess it kind of sinks in when they call you in the middle of the night," said Rick Alamaguer, CEVA Church Member.

Alamanguer said the burn marks were by the front door, and it's no coincidence. This time, firefighters found crucial evidence by the front door as well.

The massive fire was first reported at 1:40 a.m. by residents living near 13000 block of Timothy Drive. Three volunteer fire departments from Horizon City, Socorro, and Clint responded.

"The fire was visible two miles away. You could see it coming from Horizon City, the Socorro units advised they could see it from down in the Valley, as well as Clint," said assistant chief Kris Menendez, with the Horizon City Fire Department.

The fire was contained to the front of the building where several offices were under construction. A car port burned down, a utility pole caught fire, and crews knocked down a wall in the worship room to look for fire in the wall.

"It's an emotional situation you go through. You think, we put so much work into this and in a few hours it's just gone," said Alamaguer.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office has stepped in to investigate. They have not said what started it.

Copyright 2007 by kfoxtv.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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