Church burns; man held

Shortly before midnight last night, the Charlottesville Church of Christ burned severely, and the investigating officer reports that 24-year-old Jason Scott Santos, no address given, has been arrested for a break-in of the Church that occurred around the time of the suspicious blaze. The newsplex has a story of the congregation's heartbreak over losing the sanctuary that had been built, at least in part, with their own hands.

Charlottesville Detective Jim Mooney says that Santos has been admitted to UVA Hospital for treatment of injuries resulting from the alleged breaking and entering.
"The fire investigation continues," Mooney says in a statement, "but at this time there is no indication anyone other than Santos had involvement." Mooney indicates that Santos will be presented before the magistrate upon his release from treatment.

Friday afternoon update: While the wing of the church is total loss, the sanctuary appears to have been spared, and investigators now wonder if the fire may have been accidentally started by a dinner-seeking interloper trying to do some cooking.

blog-churchFire-ATF.jpgThe ATF investigates
blog-churchFire-parishioner.jpg Local Parishioner Ric Howard surveys the damage

–photos by Billy Hunt

1 comment

Wow, this is a heartbreak. The Progress had a story about how the members of the congregation built the church with their own sweat and toil. So it make you want to fry the guy who did it. On the other hand, the Progress also hints that the perp was some deaf homeless dude living in the woods just trying to cook himself a meal when his plan went horribly wrong. This should be an interesting trial....