Church gutted by flames; fireworks may be to blame
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (WSVN) -- A church is now a total loss after flames engulfed it on the Fourth of July.
The fire broke out at The Pilgrim Evangelical Church along Northwest 119th Street and 12th Avenue, at around 4:30 p.m.
The pastor, Reverend James Pestuerin, said witnesses told him that a group of kids were on top of the church's roof, lighting fireworks, when the fire suddenly broke out. "Some kids were playing on the roof of the building, and [witnesses] told me [the kids were playing with] firecrackers," said Pestuerin. "They set the fire, and when the fire was set, they ran. That's what the neighbors told me."
The pastor said when he received the call about the fire, he rushed to the place of worship, and could even see the flames before he arrived.
A 7News viewer sent video of firefighters as they battled the intense blaze. The fire was put out, but what remained was a total mess.
The church is now a complete loss. Pastor Pestuerin said he did not have insurance, but despite the fire, they will still hold service on Sunday. "I believe we're going to be in the parking lot under a tent for now. That's what I guess we have to do," he said.
The church was anticipating celebrating several special events in the coming weeks. "We have a revival that's going to start in two weeks," Pestuerin said, "and the anniversary of the church, we were about to celebrate: 19 years of existence."
The exact cause of the fire remains unknown, but the state fire marshal is investigating. Investigators were on the scene Thursday to continue their investigation.
If you wish to help Pilgrim Evangelical Church rebuild, you can donate any kind of church equipment, for example: tents, chairs, money, microphones, mixers and similar equipment. Please direct your donations to:
Eglise Evangelique Des Pelerins
1293 N.W. 119Th Street
North Miami, FL 33167
P.O. Box 680507
North Miami, FL 33168
rev. James N. Pasteurin, Pastor
You can send all money donations to:
Name: Eglise Evangelique Des Pelerins
Bank: Wells Fargo/Account # 2000015618521
(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)