Message Tab

Palin's church seriously damaged by fire, sustains $1 million in damages


(RNS) The Alaska evangelical church that former Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin calls home was severely damaged Dec. 12 by a fire that has been ruled suspicious by authorities.

The congregation met on Sunday at a local middle school and plans to worship there “until further notice,” the church announced.

The Anchorage Daily News reported that Palin’s office issued a statement the day after the fire.

“Gov. Palin stopped by the church this morning, and she told an assistant pastor that she apologizes if the incident is in any way connected to the undeserved negative attention the church has received since she became a vice-presidential candidate on Aug. 29,” it said.

James Steele, chief of the Central Mat-Su Fire Department, said it was the biggest fire his department had handled this year, but did not immediately tie its suspicious origin to political motivation.

He told the newspaper that the building, which is worth between $4 million and $5 million, sustained about $1 million in damage.