Pastor says church was set on fire by someone he tried to help

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Our Redeemer Lutheran Church had to turn people away Sunday to keep them from breathing in smoke.

A pastor said he tried to help someone Saturday night, but that person ended up setting fire to the church.

FOX 4's Megan Dillard was at the church on 8th Street and Benton Boulevard and saw the damage.

The pastor told FOX 4 the second service typically sees kids from 2 months old to 17 years old. They ended up canceling that service Sunday.

Charred debris, including one of the church doors was left sitting on the lawn outside the church. Workers had to fasten sheets of plywood over the entrance.

The head pastor posted online that someone he tried to help ended up causing a tussle, then came back and tried to burn down the church.

Fire crews said most of the damage was relegated to the entrance, but it's the smoke and smell and ashes in the bathroom that made them cancel service Sunday.

Church leaders said it could cost about $3,000 to repair the damages. The church will incur additional costs to hire someone to get rid of the smell.

Four years ago, this church also had a fire in the sanctuary.