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Boy and girl, both 12, started fire at Catholic church in East Bridgewater, officials say

An altar cloth was burned in Friday's fire, officials said.East Bridgewater Police Department

A boy and girl, both age 12, were responsible for vandalism Friday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in East Bridgewater and for setting fire to an altar cloth and bible, officials said.

Since they are minors, the children’s names will not be released, East Bridgewater police and firefighters said in a statement Sunday, and no charges are being filed.

The children are believed to have entered the church at 201 Central St. between 2 p.m. and 3:40 p.m., officials said in an earlier statement.

Votive candles were lit at the entry of the church and matches left behind, the statement said.


A bible was burned during the fire.East Bridgewater Police Department

Firefighters responded to a report of vandalism at the church at 3:40 p.m., shortly after the pastor smelled smoke and went inside, the statement said.

The vandals apparently tried to put out the flames by using a fire extinguisher and pouring water taken from the sacristy, officials said.

Investigators also determined that they took items from the food pantry and dropped some as they left through the back entrance, officials said.

“There is no place for this type of incident in East Bridgewater, no matter the denomination,” Police Chief Michael Jenkins said in the statement.

Material from a previous Globe story was used in this report.

Maria Elena Little Endara can be reached at