Post by Admin on Jun 7, 2019 13:59:38 GMT
Tallahassee cathedral set ablaze, arson likely
Florida Catholic | June 6, 2019
Tallahassee | Catholic parishioners expected to attend their evening Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Tallahassee, but instead were subjected to news of a probable arson attack to their beloved church.
Officers arrived on the scene Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. to witness Darha Nixon, the church’s business manager, inform them of the news. Nixon had already fought the fire with a chemical fire extinguisher that scorched much of the wall. According to Nixon, when custodians of the church prepared for the afternoon Mass, they opened the side doors, which is where the suspect likely entered the church.
Tallahassee police reports noted the innards of the church was full of smoke and that three chairs — including the bishop’s cathedra — were burned. Resting atop one of the chairs was a burned Bible.
Luckily, the fire was caught in time and didn’t spread to other parts of the cathedral. No injuries were reported.
Bishop William A. Wack, of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, who has endured 2018’s Hurricane Michael that devastated much of the rural and coastal portions of area, released a statement about the June 5 fire:
“Today, there was a fire inside the Co-Cathedral church in Tallahassee. The cathedra and presiders’ chairs were set on fire and are destroyed. The walls of the sanctuary are charred, and there is smoke damage. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and it went out before igniting the whole building. An investigation is underway. Thank you for your prayers.”
Mass will continue at St. Thomas More despite the fire. Daily and night Mass will continue now in the chapel nearby with expectations to return to regular Mass again by Sunday.
Officials are calling the St. Thomas More fire arson and investigations are ongoing.