Arson may be to blame for fire at Roswell church | KOB 4

Arson may be to blame for fire at Roswell church

Casey Torres
June 04, 2018 07:30 PM

ROSWELL, N.M. -  Arson may be to blame for The Monastery of Saint John, in Roswell, going up in flames Saturday.


It was the second time a fire broke out at the church in the past 12 months. Last July, the church burned down after an overloaded extension cord was used, according to Matt Miller of the Roswell Fire Department.

But Neighbors say this year’s fire was worse.

“I didn’t know it could happen again. I thought it was just the first time and that would be it,” said Ruben Calderon, who lives near the church. “It was a huge fire this time, the whole roof came down. Everything was just destroyed. It’s real sad actually.”

After the first fire, there was hope the church would be rebuilt.

“We were remodeling on the inside, trying to increase space for the monastery. We were actually going to have additional monks come to live here,” said Stephen Lee, Chairman and Board of Governors for the Russian Orthodox Church in America.

Lee said the monks wanted to offer online and in-person classes for the community, but he doesn't see that happening now.

“At this time, the clergy has determined they’re probably not going to pursue something here in Roswell,” said Lee.

He said it’s heartbreaking to see the last pieces of the church being destroyed. However, everyone is thankful no one was hurt in the fire.


Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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