Suspicious fire set to New Haven church altar

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NEW HAVEN – At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, arson investigators from the police and fire departments were dispatched to Christ Church at 84 Broadway regarding a suspicious fire.

The caller reported a fire had been set to the altar. Firefighters responded and extinguished it and damage was minimal but the fire was deliberately set, according to police.

Investigators learned a very heavy crucifix had been removed from the top of the tabernacle and placed upon the alter. Several candles, arranged in a pattern, were placed around the crucifix and lit, according to investigators. The alter was damaged as fire spread across it.

When church officials were interviewed, they each confirmed the crucifix was rarely moved and only at specific times and for specific reasons. No one there had moved it, according to police.

Evidence of possible symbols drawn in the sand at the base of a large prayer candle rack was discovered and recorded, according to police.

The New Haven Police Department is asking anyone with information on this crime to phone Detective Sergeant Elisa Tuozzoli at 203-946-6137.