Bethlehem congregation in disbelief after 2nd fire at church


Confused and angry.

Members of the Iglesia Pentecostal Church de Bethlehem are trying to come to terms with a second fire at the church this week.

Someone was driving home from work around 2 a.m. Thursday and saw the roof on fire. Family members who run the church told 69 News they couldn't believe it when they got the phone call. They say it's a terrible case of de ja vu.

"It was heartbreaking and really sad that this would happen for the second time and I said who would do such a thing, I mean what else can they burn in the building?" said Nitza Colon, church leader and daughter of the church's pastor.

Colon said emotions are raw, and mixed with grief, confusion and anger.

"It's just annoying already,"​ Colon said.

The fire early Thursday burned the roof of the already-scorched chapel, just one day after the first fire was ruled arson.

"They already burned what we love so much, the inside, you know so what else I guess until they see it to the ground, I guess they won't let it go,"​ Colon said.

Investigators don't have a motive for the arson, something Colon and her family are trying to figure out as well. In the meantime, they spent the day moving files and photos from the church just to be safe.

"We removed stuff that's very important to our church and you never know if tomorrow, at 2 in the morning, they'll call us and say something else happened over here, we don't know, you have to be prepared," Colon said.

As the investigation continues, First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem is opening its doors to the congregation.

"We try to gather our thoughts like we call it and pray about it," Colon said.

A source told 69 News Thursday's fire was also arson, but the investigation is still ongoing.

The ATF is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for anyone with information that leads to charges.