Phoenix church gutted by fire, while 2nd church and school are broken into and vandalized

Phoenix church gutted by fire, while 2nd church and school are broken into and vandalized
Church fire in Phoenix

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Phoenix goes up in flames, while a second church and school were broken into and vandalized, all within a block of one another on the same night.

According to an AZ Family article, Phoenix police were called to the church fire, near 40th Street and Shea Boulevard sometime after midnight Wednesday, May 1.

It took fire crews over an hour to put out the flames, which had begun burning through the roof of the church. Firefighters kept the fire from spreading to other areas of the church property.

"We never want to lose these buildings, especially a church," said Phoenix Fire Department Captain, Danny Gile. "They are such a beacon of hope for our community."

There were no reports of injury to firefighters.

The Phoenix Fire Investigations Unit is determining the origin and cause of the fire.

During the time of the fire, Phoenix police also discovered that a Presbyterian Church (3839 E. Shea Blvd.) and a school (3939 E. Shea Blvd), both close to the church fire and within a block of one another had been broken into in an apparent robbery and vandalized, according to a Phoenix Police Department news release.

Police are not sure if the three crimes are connected and no suspect(s) have been identified so far. The investigation is ongoing.

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