DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. — Two kids may have caused a fire that burned the church of the Nazarene in Winston over the weekend.
Winston police say the parents of the boys came forward with information about their child’s connection with the start of the fire.
The subtle scent of fire still lingers in the air days after the fire at the Church of the Nazarene.
"When the first crews got here, they got here about three minutes after the initial tap out," said Nick Wecks, the training office with Douglas County Fire District No. 2. "We had heavy smoke coming from the other side of the building from the opposite of where the fire started from. So it actually traveled pretty quick."
31 people from four different fire stations responded to the blaze.
It took them about two hours and over 117,000 gallons of water to put it out. Wecks tells us the building is a total loss.
"As for a lot of the contents, we spoke with several of the church members," Wecks said. "They were able to salvage some of the keepsake stuff as far as the organs, pianos, and some of the music equipment they used for the Sunday services."
The fire started right in the southeast corner of the church. The whole area is still under investigation.
Police say when they arrived, the parents of the boys were waiting for them in the parking lot.
"During the fire incident, we had parents from both the boys come forward wanting to talk about their kids being involved in potentially starting the fire," said Brandon Sarti, the Winston Chief of Police.
Because both boys are under 12 years old, Oregon state law says they don't have a culpable mental state, so they aren't chargeable.
The case will be sent to the Douglas County District Attorney's office for review.
"They're not under any kind of arrest of any type at this point," Sarti said. "But that'll be the determination of the district attorney on the plans or direction that we'll go on the case."
The church was used as a food pantry for the community.
The city of Winston is trying to put services and locations together for them to conduct business.