Pair of suspicious church fires in Brewster under investigation

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Brewster police are investigating two church fires early Sunday morning, with one already determined to be arson.

Brewster Police Chief Marcos Ruiz was releasing little information but said investigators believe a fire at Sacred Heart Catholic Church about 2 or 3 Sunday morning was intentionally set.

Rev. Pedro Bautista Peraza said damage to the Catholic church was minimal after someone broke a window and dropped some sort of fire incendiary material inside.

He said only the window, a small piece of carpet and a chair were damaged.

“We were, very, very lucky,” Peraza said.

Two churches within a block of each other in Brewster suffered fires at about the same time early Sunday morning.

The damage was far more extensive across the street at New Testament Baptist Church.

New Testament Pastor Corey Higdon told parishioners in a video message Sunday the the church would find a way to carry on.

“I hate to use the word catastrophe, but that’s all that comes to mind,” Higdon said,. “However what seems catastrophic up front can be a blessing in disguise.”

He said he received word of the fire between 4:30 and 5 a.m. Sunday.

“It’s certainly extensive damage,” Higdon said. “We don’t know what caused it. There’s speculation but they have not reached any verdict, if you will, regarding the cause of it. That, in a sense is a little bit irrelevant only for the fact that whoever caused it ain’t going to put it back together again.”

He said the church has contacted its insurance agent and is working toward finding a temporary facility.

A morning service at Sacred Heart Catholic Church was cancelled Sunday but a later mass went on as scheduled.