BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A church in Baton Rouge that has been under renovations was intentionally set on fire on Wednesday morning, according to fire investigators.
The Baton Rouge Fire Department said firefighters saw smoke coming from Good Shepherd Missionary Baptist Church on Mission Drive around 5:55 a.m. Construction materials were found on fire, BRFD said.
The fire was put out by 6:10 a.m. before it could spread. Investigators said the fire resulted in $50,000 in losses and no injuries were reported.
“Once firefighters extinguished the fire, they thought the fire looked a little suspicious,” said Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesperson, Curt Monte. “They couldn’t locate a heat source or call. So, they called out an investigator. Once our investigators arrived and looked over the fire scene, they determined the fire to be arson or intentionally set. But no one was hurt. During this incident, fortunately, that may not be the case next time.”
BRFD noted that the same church had caught on fire in January 2022 after an air conditioning unit malfunctioned.
The constructor over the site also expressed his devastation. According to him, he worked on the site for over a year and was at the end of the project. Now, he has to start over.
Anyone with information about the church fire is asked to call Crime Stoppers or Baton Rouge fire investigators at 225-389-2050.