Brownsville church possible target of arson

Pastor Andy Najera is trying to stay positive, but the disappointment was evident in his face Tuesday.

His church, Divine Providence, went-up in flames along with several other offices at a building owned by the Brownsville Jaycees Trust, located at 1175 W. Price Rd.

The 90-member congregation and the 20 students housed in the church's school, will now have to look for a new home.

Brownsville Firefighters responded to the fire that started inside the building at about 5:30 a.m. Monday.

It took them about two hours to finally extinguish the blaze.

"It was a fast-burning fire, Brownsville Fire Department Asst. Chief Victor Alfaro said. By the time we got on the scene, it had already (burned) through the roof. We had flames shooting out the top of the roof."

Alfaro said the damage was severe and the building might not be salvageable. That's bad news for Jaycees Trustees who tell Action 4 News they've invested about $300,000 in the building over the past 10 years.

They also depend on rent from their tenants to upkeep the building.

A K-9 aided investigators as they collected evidence in a possible arson case.

"If there's any accelerants in the building or where the fire started, he can alert the fire inspectors," Alfaro said.

Najera and his congregation will have to rebuild, but he said their faith is greater than the charred building.

"Our faith is not in a building or even on a thing so much - it's on a person " Jesus, Najera said. The building might burn, but God's church always goes forward."