Officials: 2 youths blamed for 2017 fire that gutted North Vegas church

Firefighters attack "hot spots" after much of the flames from a fire destroyed a church on Revere Street in North Las Vegas on June 6, 2017. (Armando Navarro/FOX5)

Two youths are being blamed for starting a fire that destroyed a North Las Vegas church a year ago.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Monday the juveniles were arrested to face arson, conspiracy and burglary charges in the early June 6, 2017, blaze at Zion Methodist Church.

The names and genders of the accused were withheld due to their ages. ATF spokeswoman Alexandria Corneiro did not immediately respond to a question about a motive for the fire.

No one was injured, but the ATF says the fire caused $1.3 million in damage to the home of the 120-member congregation formed in November 1917.

The Rev. Lawrence "Larry" Johnson says the congregation has been meeting at the neighboring Nevada Partners offices, and now plans to rebuild.

"Zion church is home, this is where we worship every Sunday," church trustee Charlie Blake said last June. "It makes me really sad."

The congregation is more than 100 years old.

"You see it all on TV that a house has been destroyed. But not your own," he said. "It's just a thing that happened we don't know why it happened," Blake said.

But he said Zion's congregation was looking to the future. "A year from now, we hope to be another building just like this," Blake said last June.

Blake said the church had never been a victim of a targeted attack.

At least two alarms were called out to fire crews. Personnel from Las Vegas and Clark County fire departments were called.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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