CREVE COEUR, MO (KTVI) - Bomb and arson investigators are looking into a fire that started Tuesday evening at St. Monica Catholic Church in Creve Coeur.
"Because of the nature of it being a church, we did call the regional St. Louis Bomb and Arson in to do an investigation and that's what they're doing right now," said Creve Coeur Assistant Fire Marshal Jerry McQueen.
The fire started just before 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of the church. When fire crews arrived, they found the fire at the altar.
"The fire was at the nativity scene, yes," McQueen said.
Fire crews were able to put the fire out within about 20 minutes. No one was in the church at the time, but the fire did cause heavy smoke damage to the sanctuary.
"A lot of smoke damage was involved, nobody was hurt, inside the church at the time of the fire" said McQueen.
It's unclear how the fire will affect services at the church. Archdiocese Vicar General, Monsignor Mark Rivituso, said work is already underway to get the church community back on its feet.
"Be her for the community as they try to rebuild and address not only the damage within the church but to help get them fully restored for worship again" said Rivituso.
"At this point we're just going through the process" said McQueen. "We took some photos, we're going to sift through the debris at this point now and, like I said, we called St. Louis Bomb and Arson and with their help we're going to try to determine what the cause was.”