Arsonist Strikes Ellensburg Church - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Arsonist Strikes Ellensburg Church

ELLENSBURG, Wash - An Ellensburg church has been intentionally set on fire.  Suprisingly the pastor of First Lutheran Church in Ellensburg was smiling and laughing.

"It's mostly my office, so 20 years worth of books, notes and bible studies," said Pastor Dennis Hickman.

He says the church on Ruby Street runs because of the people and not the building.

"Somebody was mad at us for some reason, I didn't think we had any enemies," says Pastor Hickman. 

It was a window in Pastor Hickman's office that stopped the flames from spreading to the sanctuary.  The whole room is made out of wood. 

A dog trained to smell accelerants was sniffing out the scene and a federal ATF agent was looking around Monday.

The fire started around 3 o'clock Monday morning.  Investigators say there are signs of forced entry.

"I felt like I was violated.  I felt like someone had taken away from me," said 60 year church member Shelia Johnson holding back tears. 

"I pray for that person who did this would be caught so they wouldn't do it to anyone else," explained Johnson. 

The fire damage is estimated at $50,000.  Church staff says their insurance should cover the costs. 

Police don't have any leads at this point and will continue the investigation.

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