North Miami church holds services outside after fire

Church asking for donations to help them rebuild

Author: Ben Kennedy, Reporter, bkennedy@Local10.com
Published On: Jul 05 2012 10:01:45 AM EDT   Updated On: Jul 09 2012 11:10:45 AM EDT
Burned church
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. -

Services were being held in a tent this weekend at a North Miami church that caught fire on the 4th of July.

Witnesses said that four children were seen playing with fireworks on the roof of Eglise Evangelique Des Pelerins just before it caught fire Wednesday night.

One of the witnesses also said the children were seen running away after the fire.

Flames could be seen shooting from the roof of the church, located at 1293 NW 119th St.

Rev. James Pasteurin told Local 10's Ben Kennedy that he learned about the fire after receiving a phone call. He said he could see the flames from miles away.

Pasteurin said witnesses told him the fire broke out after kids were seen lighting fireworks on the roof.

"What I will say to them is, 'It's fireworks, something you can't play with. It costs life,'" he said.

Pasteurin said the church is over 6,000 square feet and has more than 150 members. He also said it doesn't have insurance, and after talking with fire inspectors, he estimates it will cost more than $1 million to rebuild.

"Everything -- pews, sound system -- everything is gone," Pasteurin said.

At this point, he doesn't know where Sunday services will be held.

It took firefighters more than an hour to bring the fire under control.

Miami-Dade fire investigators say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

No injuries were reported.

The church is also asking for donations to help them rebuild.

Donations can be sent to:
Pilgrim Evangelical Church, PO Box 680507, North Miami, FL, 33168