CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte arson investigators are trying to determine who set fire to Providence Baptist Church on Randolph Road.
"We have determined that we have two fires and determined they were intentionally set," said Chief Paul Wilkinson of the Charlotte Fire Department.
One of the fires was located behind the 1000 seat sanctuary, the other on the lower level. A member came to open the building around 8:30 Wednesday morning, smelled heavy smoke and called 911.
"Day Care was never shut down and it will continue right on. And my guess it will be at least a few days before we can have access to the sanctuary," said Dr. Al Cadenhead, senior pastor.
Dr. Cadenhead spent most of Wednesday hoping the fire would be an accident. He was disappointed to learn it was the work of an arsonist.
"I don't understand why you would do this. Obviously it could have been much, much worse and we’re grateful," said the pastor.
Investigators estimate the damage at $50,000 to $100,000, and say most of it is due to smoke.
"In this case, we’re very lucky the fires used up their fuel and basically went into a smoldering phase, and didn't progress any further," said Chief Wilkinson.
He says anyone with information should call crime-stoppers at (704)334-1600.