Skip to Navigation

Arsonist Fire at St. John Cathedral Mercifully Contained

Damaged altar at St. John Orthodox CathedralDamaged altar at St. John Orthodox CathedralFr. Marc Dunaway of St. John Orthodox Cathedral, writes:

"A fire was set in our Cathedral at about 12:40 a.m. Thursday, August 23. It appears it was deliberately set by someone who poured gasoline around the altar and lit it on fire. By the mercy of God the Cathedral was not totally destroyed. A parishioner was passing by the Cathedral just as the flame was lit. He saw the fire through the windows, called 911, and then ran into the Church. Several Cathedral members used fire extinguishers and put out the fire in the altar. Kh. Betsy and Fr. Marc ran to the Cathedral a couple minutes later. Dense smoke filled the darkened Nave as the police and firemen arrived. Everyone was evacuated from the building as the firemen entered to assess the situation. They did not ever have to use their hoses. The fire damage is mostly limited to the area immediately around the altar, but soot and fire extinguisher powder are everywhere on the main floor. We can be thankful to God that people saw the fire when they did. Another few minutes and the building would have been totally engulfed."

Read the entire story and view more photos.