Investigators haven’t found evidence of arson in Phoenix church fire

May 9, 2019, 4:30 PM | Updated: May 10, 2019, 6:55 am
(Phoenix Fire Department Photo)...
(Phoenix Fire Department Photo)
(Phoenix Fire Department Photo)

PHOENIX — The investigation isn’t over, but it appears the fire that destroyed St. Joseph Catholic Church in Phoenix last week was accidental, authorities said Thursday.

“Currently, investigators have not discovered any credible evidence that would suggest arson,” the Phoenix Fire Department said in an email.

“Conversely, fire investigators have found compelling indicators that the origin of the fire may be due to accidental causes.”

The email said the investigation could take several days or weeks to be completed. No other new information was released.

Agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved in the investigation because it involved a house of worship.

The church near 40th Street and Shea Boulevard was destroyed May 1. Church officials had been preparing for a 50th anniversary celebration.

Flames were shooting through the attic of the church when firefighters arrived around midnight. The fire sparked in the area of the sanctuary, police said.

Shortly after, the building was fully engulfed in flames.

About 60 firefighters worked to keep the blaze from spreading to other buildings, including classrooms, on the property.

Units from Scottsdale also helped fight the fire, which took hours to extinguish.

Nobody was injured.

The church launched an online campaign in an effort to raise funds for rebuilding.

“In times such as this, we know our faith will carry us through this difficult time,” the church said in a note.

“Please pray for our parish community and our pastor, Father Reggie.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

(Phoenix Fire Department Photo) (Phoenix Fire Department Photo) (Phoenix Fire Department Photo) (Phoenix Fire Department Photo) (Phoenix Fire Department Photo) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)...

Chandler City Council approves policy to prohibit acts of discrimination

The Chandler City Council voted 6-1 to adopt an ordinance that prohibits discrimination during Monday’s meeting.
22 hours ago
(Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Execution warrant requested for Arizona death row inmate

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has requested the state Supreme Court issue a warrant of execution for death row inmate Aaron Gunches.
22 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Angel Zamora)...

2 Phoenix police officers charged with assault in October incident with shooting suspect

Charges against two Phoenix police officers accused of assaulting a shooting suspect during an October arrest have been submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
22 hours ago
(Screenshot via Glendale Police Department)...

Glendale police said officer who activated Taser on shoplifting suspect 14 times followed policy

Glendale police said an officer who activated a Taser 14 times on a shoplifting suspect Tuesday acted within department policy.
22 hours ago
(Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Photo/Andrew Pielage)...

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale to host 1st holiday experience

The Scottsdale winter home and studio of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright will host two weekends of holiday-themed activities open to the public for the first time.
22 hours ago
Teofilo Acuna Gutierrez (Photo courtesy of DPS)...

Silver Alert canceled for 78-year-old man last seen in Phoenix

A Silver Alert was canceled Wednesday evening in Phoenix for a 78-year-old man who hasn't been spotted since Friday.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Investigators haven’t found evidence of arson in Phoenix church fire