Church fire injures one, police search for arson suspect


ARCATA- Quick action by the Arcata Fire District kept a suspicious blaze from spreading at a downtown church.

Just after nine Saturday night, fire fighters responded to the First Presbyterian Church. When they arrived, flames were visible from the doorway located on G Street.

Fire fighters quickly brought the fire under control.

A 28-year-old victim was sleeping on the steps of the church when a suspect came and lit a flammable substance near him.

Good Samaritans nearby helped extinguish the victim, but he suffered severe burns to his head and hands.

He is currently at the hospital in stable condition.

Because of the damage to the building, Sunday morning service at 11 will be moved to a Presbyterian church in Bayside.

Battalion chief Sean Campbell told News Channel 3 it was a great job by the two fire fighters who first arrived on scene.

The suspect is described as male, possibly Hispanic, with short brown hair and was last seen in a grey sweatshirt and grey jeans.

Any witnesses are asked to contact Arcata Police.

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