Feds helping in investigation of church fire | NevadaAppeal.com

Feds helping in investigation of church fire

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Federal investigators are teaming up with Carson City authorities to investigate a deliberately set fire at a Carson City church.

Fire Chief Stacey Giomi said investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are helping with the investigation into the arson at Connected Church of the Nazarene at 900 Mallory Way. The ATF routinely investigates arson fires involving commercial properties, but specifically churches.

“It’s our habit to investigate acts of violence and the intentional burning of a church is an act of violence,” said Nina Delgadillo, ATF spokeswoman for Northern California and Nevada.

The fire appears to have been set in the sanctuary of the Christian church. Giomi said it took about 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze. He estimated the damage at more than $1 million.

Connected purchased the 10,000-square-foot warehouse off Roop Street in March 2006.

They occupy much of the space, which they used for worship, a coffee shop and an indoor youth skate park. The skate park was closed because of a lack of volunteers and funding, according to carsonconnected.org, the church’s Web site.

The remainder of the building was leased out to tenants, a majority of them being charitable organizations, and the church also donated the indoor skate park as an area in which Toys for Tots could store their toys for Douglas, Carson, Lyon and Storey counties.

Sheriff’s Investigator Dena Lacy said she’s interviewed several people.

“We’re just trying to get some leads,” she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Carson City Sheriff’s Department at 887-2500, ext. 41405.