Despite destruction of church, Bonners Ferry community says it w - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Despite destruction of church, Bonners Ferry community says it will grow stronger

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BONNERS FERRY, Idaho -

Detectives are trying to track down whoever is responsible for intentionally starting a fire that destroyed a church early Thursday morning.

Police in Bonners Ferry say they have not made any arrests in the case, but they have a few leads they're following up on.

"Many things happen in our lives, but I recognize that God is with us," Father Carlos told KHQ's Cynthia Johnson

 He led St. Ann's Parish for the last eight years. He can barely stand to see his church in ashes. "My heart is broke. I am very sad."

It was a church where people raised their families. "My kids have been all first communion here. The last two were baptized here," a mother named Janice said.  

Investigators say the church was set on fire on purpose. Police say there were three separate points in the basement where the fire was set. Detectives also noticed the statues inside the church were slashed and vandalized, and the windows were shattered.  
 
Firefighters say the flames sent bricks flying from the building.

It will take time for the community to figure out how to heal, but Father Carlos says they will do it together.

"I would like for people to see they have a leader here, that they are not alone" he says. 
 
While firefighters say the church is total loss, Father Carlos says he plans to have mass under the shelter where they usually have picnics for the time being until they can rebuild.

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