Early on Saturday morning, El Paso firefighters responded to reports of a fire at a Catholic Church, finding a broken window and a fire at the main sanctuary.
Authorities stated that the fire was intentional, and described the arson as “an act of vandalism with an incendiary device.”
In recent months, at least two other similar events have occurred in the area, which lies close to the US-Mexico border.
Recently, authorities apprehended an illegal in possession of a Molotov cocktail near Roma, Texas.
El Paso Fire was dispatched to the St. Jude Catholic Church, located at 4008 Hidden Way in El Paso’s Upper Valley, early Saturday morning.
Upon arrival, firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from the main sanctuary of the church.
Upon investigation, they learned the church had a broken window on the southwest corner of the chapel, near the altar.
According to EPFD dispatch, fire investigators are at the scene.
The El Paso Catholic Diocese confirmed shortly after noon that the fire has been treated as an act of vandalism with an incendiary device. The diocese states, “The safety of our Catholic faithful and our parish communities is of the utmost importance.”
In the last few months, there have been two prior church fires, both at Catholic churches. The first was at St. Matthew’s Church on May 7, followed by St. Patrick’s Cathedral just a few days later May 13, when an apparent Molotov cocktail was thrown at one of the cathedral’s windows, bouncing off and detonating on the sidewalk.
This is a developing story, which we will update once more information becomes available.