Police: Man charged in Pa. church fire was former member and held grudge

Local News

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — Police say a man charged with setting two fires at a Pennsylvania church was a former member who had been kicked out of the congregation and held a grudge against it.

Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio said Monday that the matter “festered and festered,” prompting 43-year-old Wilmer Ortiz Torres to set fire to Iglesia Pentecostal de Bethlehem church last week.

DiLuzio did not elaborate on the nature of the dispute. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli tells The (Allentown) Morning Call that he doesn’t have details on why Torres was angry with the church.

The first fire gutted the church’s sanctuary and caused smoke and water damage throughout the building. A second fire damaged the roof. No one was injured.

Torres is jailed on arson and related charges. Court records don’t list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
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Information from: The Morning Call, http://www.mcall.com

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