Police investigate ‘suspicious’ fire at Tacoma church

TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma Police Department is investigating a suspicious fire that caused serious damage to the city’s United Lutheran Church on Sunday.

Firefighters say the flames damaged three rooms, including a fellowship hall often used by local organizations like the Boy Scouts.

Crews arrived at the church on South 76th Street at about 8:30 p.m. to extinguish the flames.

Pastor Mary Corning Sanders says it’s disappointing knowing the fire was intentionally set.

“I was at first hoping it was an accident but, it’s too much accelerant for somebody who’s just doing their drugs,” Pastor Sanders said.

Investigators do not have a motive. Sanders hopes whoever is responsible doesn’t target someone else.

“I just hope they catch whoever did this before they actually burn down somebody’s home or hurt somebody, that’s kind of a scary thought,” she said.

Dozens of people arrived at the church on Monday to board up the structure which suffered roughly $400,000 in damages. Pastor Sanders was touched to see so many strangers stepping up to help.

“Whatever intent was behind setting this fire has been far outweighed by the love that’s shown up in this parking lot.”

The Tacoma Fire Department does not believe the incident is tied to any other suspicious fires in the region.

Anyone with information is asked to call Tacoma Police.