Church arson attempted in Isanti

A crime alert has been issued for the apprehension of a man suspected of burning an Isanti church early Monday morning (May 28).

At 3:17 a.m., a man wearing a light colored cap, a sweatshirt, jeans and tennis shoes entered the construction site at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church and attempted to light the building on fire, Isanti Fire District Chief Randy Polzin said.

“I’m sure he’s local because I didn’t see any cars in the surveillance video,” he said. “He walked up there, started the fire and walked away.”

The fire was suppressed by an automated fire sprinkler system until fire crews arrived. Smoke was coming out of the building when they arrived, Assistant Chief Jason Polzin said.

There was no structural damage, but the fire destroyed new windows and doors that had not yet been installed.

“It’d be nice to catch him,” R. Polzin noted.

The church is constructing an addition on the existing structure at 207 Whiskey Road NW. An 80-foot by 60-foot meeting/conference room addition is under construction on the south side of the existing building.

A new portico and bell tower, along the east side of the building, also are planned for the entrance to the church. The church intends to have a bell system that would be used during services.

Anyone with information can call the Minnesota arson tip line at 1-800-723-2020. There is a potential $2,500 reward.

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