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Video: Arsonist sets himself on fire while trying to burn down church

Police lights. (MLive File Photo/TNS)
August 30, 2023

Recently released footage shows the moment an arsonist accidentally set himself on fire while attempting to set fire to a church in Florida.

The surveillance video released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit shows an unidentified individual setting fire to Oakland Park Church’s front doors. During the video, the suspect can be seen crossing the church parking lot and pouring gasoline alongside the church’s front doors.

When the suspect attempts to light the gasoline, he barely escapes the flames outside the first doorway of the church before lighting the second fire and getting caught in the flames.

According to the sheriff’s office, Broward County Regional Communications received a report for a fire at 2600 N.W. 21st Ave. at roughly 1:41 a.m. on Aug. 14. Oakland Park Fire Rescue and the Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies quickly responded to the call.

After firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, deputies were notified of evidence that suggested the fire at Power Outreach Ministry might have been started intentionally. Subsequently, the Oakland Park City Fire Marshal investigated the scene and determined that the fire was caused by arson.

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A police report stated, “The video shows an individual carry a gas can onto the parking lot of the property, pour liquid on the front doors and set a paper towel on fire. The person then used the paper towel to set the door on fire.”

Police have reported that the fire resulted in over $1,000 in damage to the church. The Broward Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit is continuing to search for the individual responsible for starting the fire. Fox News reported that the suspect was seen wearing a dark t-shirt, shorts, and gray shoes before fleeing the scene of the crime.