INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Indianapolis fire investigators are ruling a fire that damaged St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in downtown Indianapolis Wednesday morning arson.
Firefighters were called shortly after 4 a.m. to the church at the corner of South Capitol Avenue and Georgia Street. Upon arrival, there was no fire showing from the exterior and the fire was under control within 5 minutes.
According to firefighters, a blaze was set just inside the locked doors of the entryway off of Capitol Avenue. They said some hymnals and a flag were set on fire.
Wednesday night, all accidental causes have been ruled out. Detectives say there are no obvious signs of forced entry and nothing was removed from the church.
- PHOTOS | Click here for photos of the damage
Church officials say parishioners were attending an event in the church that ended around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Smoke alarms in the church were activated. Officials say there was more smoke than actual fire damage.
There was no damage reported to the Church's Rectory. Damage to the church is estimated at $400,000 due to heavy smoke damage.
The church has canceled all Wednesday services. It will reopen Thursday morning.
St. John is the oldest Catholic church in Indianapolis, celebrating its 175th birthday this year. St. John was originally built on the grounds where the Statehouse sits. The church was later relocated and redeveloped in 1871 to where it now stands.
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