Arson fire destroys Bonners Ferry church

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—Courtesy photo

Firefighters try to contain a fire at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Bonners Ferry in the early morning hours Thurday. The historic church was destroyed in what authorities said was an incendiary-caused fire.

BONNERS FERRY — The historic St. Ann’s Catholic Church was destroyed by arson early Thursday morning.

Authorities responded to an explosion at the church about 2 a.m. to find the building fully engulfed in fire. Despite multiple agencies responded to the blaze, the fire continued to smolder more than 12 hours later.

Authorities have a person of interest in the incendiary blaze but declined to name the individual due to the ongoing investigation.

Over the past few years, St. Ann’s has been undergoing renovations, including $30,000 for a new porch, $100,000 for a new roof and a recently completed basement remodel costing $30,000. In addition, the congregation also purchased a new $7,000 keyboard.

Congregation members said the destruction of their church won’t hinder their faith in moving forward through the tragedy.

Mass will be held tonight at 6:30 p.m. at St. Ann’s outdoor pavilion.

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