2 fires break out at Pennsylvania church, arson investigators searching for clues

PHOTO: Burnt pews following a fire in Bethlehem, Pa., that broke out at Iglesia Pentecostal De Bethlehem Church on April 23, 2019.PlayApril Gamiz/The Morning Call via AP
WATCH 2 fires break out at Pennsylvania church, arson investigators searching for clues

Arson investigators in Pennsylvania are searching for clues after two fires broke out at one church.

The first fire at the Pentecostal Church of Bethlehem was reported shortly after midnight on Tuesday, while the second fire was called in just before 2 a.m. on Thursday, said the Bethlehem Police Department. No injuries were reported.

The Thursday morning fire, which was contained to the roof, was quickly extinguished, police said.

In the first fire, thick black smoke was seen billowing from the building, but the fire had already burned itself out when first responders arrived, according to police. The blaze left the sanctuary destroyed, ABC Philadelphia station WPVI reported.

PHOTO: Tasha Collazo, a granddaughter of Pastor Carmen L. Cruz, shows a bible that survived the fire at Iglesia Pentecostal De Bethlehem Church on April 23, 2019 in Allentown, Pa. April Gamiz/The Morning Call via AP
Tasha Collazo, a granddaughter of Pastor Carmen L. Cruz, shows a bible that survived the fire at Iglesia Pentecostal De Bethlehem Church on April 23, 2019 in Allentown, Pa.

"It makes us cry," Grizelle Cruz, a daughter-in-law of the pastor, told WPVI. "This feels like homelessness, where do we go to worship? This is our house of worship."

"Devastated... we're crushed," Elizabeth Collazo, the daughter of a pastor, told The Morning Call. "This was my father's dream to build a church in the community."

PHOTO: Elizabeth Collazo, the daughter of Pastor Carmen L. Cruz, walks through the badly damaged church following the fire at Iglesia Pentecostal De Bethlehem Church, April 23, 2019, in Allentown, Pa. April Gamiz/The Morning Call via AP
Elizabeth Collazo, the daughter of Pastor Carmen L. Cruz, walks through the badly damaged church following the fire at Iglesia Pentecostal De Bethlehem Church, April 23, 2019, in Allentown, Pa.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a reward up to $5,000, according to police.

"If you were out on Wednesday evening in the area of the church and observed any individual or individuals acting suspicious or strange, please contact us," Bethlehem police said in a statement Thursday. "If you were at any area convenience store or gas station and observed anyone purchasing gasoline in any type of container, please contact us and speak with us."

"The information that you may have may seem trivial to you, but it may be very important to us," police said.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Bethlehem Police at 610-691-6660.