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Authorities investigating possible arson at Saint Bernards Church in Eureka

EUREKA- The Eureka Police Department is investigating a possible case of arson at Saint Bernards Church.

Just before 12:30 a.m. on Monday, Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a fire alarm at the church. When crews arrived, they saw flames coming from under one of the side doors.  Firefighters forced open the door and saw a small fire to the carpet and flooring.  They also saw smoke throughout the sanctuary. Fire officials were able to promptly extinguish the blaze. The Assistant Fire Chief, Rusty Goodlive, says the fire department is investigating the incident as a possible arson, but officials did not locate any signs of forced entry. He says there was minimal damage, but the fire could have been much worse.

"The fire alarm system in the building really just saved the day because it provided us with early notification so that we could get there promptly, put the fire out when it was relatively small.  That's a very big, old building and a significant fire in there would have been really tragic for the community," said Assistant Fire Chief Goodlive.