INDIANAPOLIS — Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indianapolis firefighters responded to the city’s oldest Catholic church early Wednesday morning.
An Indianapolis Fire Department spokesperson told Fox59 they believe someone may have started a small fire in the sanctuary of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church during an attempted burglary.
Officers arrived to the church around 4:15 a.m. to investigate a report of a break-in. After talking with Father Rick Nagel, they called IFD because of a fire alarm in the church.
Firefighters arrived to find paper material set on fire in the sanctuary. It’s not known if anything was actually stolen in the burglary.
Damage to the nationally registered historic building is estimated at $15,000. No damage was done to the alter or pews of the church, but thick black smoke filled the entire sanctuary.
Due to the fire, staff canceled Wednesday’s 12:10 p.m. mass at the 175-year-old church. Services will resume once investigators and the Archdiocese have a chance to conduct their investigation.