Fire damages church in Hanford

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- Officials are investigating a church fire in The South Valley. The inside of the Apostolic Assembly Church of Hanford is a total loss.

They believe the fire was the work of an arsonist.

"We're going to pull through this, it's going to make us stronger. We're going to unite and we're going to go forward," said Pastor Samuel Delgado, Apostolic Assembly.

Pastor Delgado arrived Friday morning to speak to fire investigators and inspect the damage for himself.

"I don't know what would motivate you to do this. We would forgive you but this is something you wouldn't do to a church. Why a church we don't understand that."

Investigators said someone set fire outside near the backdoor of the Hanford church just after 9 Thursday night. Flames quickly spread to the attic.

"It has been determined as an arson fire, they're collecting evidence right now and collecting interviews with surrounding residents," said Chris Ekk, Hanford Fire Chief.

The church has stood for six decades on the 200 block of east 9th Street.

Its age and structure made it challenging for crews to fight the flames.

"It is older construction and the construction did have some factors in the firefight, because it was compartmentalized. A lot of little rooms, multiple ceilings, so we encounters several problems with this building," said Ekk.

The inside of the church is a total loss, however, one thing came out intact. The pastor's bible survived the fire.

"We need prayers, we really just want to say thank you for the prayers from the congregation they're much needed and desired at this time," said Pastor Delgado.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.