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43-Year-Old Man Arrested For Allegedly Setting Fire To Bethlehem Church Twice In Same Week

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (CBS) -- Police have arrested a 43-year-old man who allegedly set fire to a Bethlehem church twice in the same week. Forty-three-year-old Wilmer Ortiz Torres, of Allentown, was taken into custody Friday evening.

He has been charged with multiple counts of arson, burglary and criminal trespassing.

'God Will Forgive Him': Second Fire Breaks Out At Bethlehem Church Targeted By Arsonist

Crews responded to a fire at the Iglesia Pentecostal Church on Pembroke Road early Tuesday morning. When crews arrived, the fire had already burned itself out, but thick, black smoke could be seen in the church.

bethlehem church fire
(credit: Matt Petrillo/CBS3)

Crews vented the church and an ensuing investigation determined it was a case of arson. Officials say Torres entered the sanctuary area of the church and started the fire.

Two nights later -- just before 2 a.m. on Thursday -- the church again caught fire. Investigators again determined it to be a case of arson, finding that the suspect climbed onto the roof and used some sort of accelerate to spark the blaze.

Torres will be arraigned later Friday evening.

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