Man arrested at scene of fire that destroyed Franklin Lakes church

Posted: Updated:

A person is now in custody in connection with an early morning fire that destroyed a Bergen County church.

Parishioners were devastated to hear the news that Most Blessed Sacrament in Franklin Lakes is no more after a fire ripped through the building Wednesday morning.

The prosecutor's office has since announced the arrest of 26-year-old James Mayers, of Franklin Lakes, who has been charged with aggravated arson and burglary. Officials say he allegedly started the fire with gasoline and a lighter, and was arrested at the scene.

"There are a lot of sick people in the world ... I need to sit with that person and just understand why what came and led you to do something like that," says Joni Parekh, a parishioner at the church.

The extensive damage has left parishioners now wondering what this means with Christmas just two weeks away.

"Our church is something that's very vital to our community," says John C. Morley, a parishioner.

 

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