City firefighters put out the second fire in a month at the Delaware Church of God at 185 Lake St. Thursday morning.
Firefighters were reportedly dispatched to the church at about 7:40 a.m. after receiving a report of smoke coming from the building.
Delaware Fire Chief John Donahue said the fire was small and caused about $500 in damage.
Delaware Police Captain Adam Moore said Thursday’s fire was “suspicious” and police detectives are investigating along with fire investigators.
Donahue said an electrical issued started a fire at the church on the morning of March 8. Officials estimated at the time that the damage caused was $75,000. No one was injured in either fire.
However, Daniel Maurer, the pastor of the church and one of the chaplains for the Delaware Police Department, said Thursday that the damages have reached “hundreds of thousands” of dollars and Maurer said the church would have to decide its next step. Maurer added the entire interior of the church was destroyed.
Maurer said the church owns several acres on U.S 36/State Route 37 and would have to decide between building a new church on that property or rebuilding on the current property.
Maurer said his more than 80-member congregation is currently having services at the Delaware Area Career Center on Sundays at 10 a.m.
Maurer said he has been in contact with agents from the church’s insurance company and is awaiting an official report from the insurance company.