CANTON, Ohio — They expected sparks, but the flames came as a surprise.
Now a church fire that erupted during a dramatization of the resurrection of Jesus will be investigated by the Canton Fire Prevention Bureau.
The special effect was supposed to represent Jesus’ rising from the dead, but instead, it caught part of the set on fire.
It happened at the First Church of the Nazarene on 30th Street NW in Canton on Easter Sunday.
Paul Dennis, the church’s youth pastor, suffered second degree burns to his hand when he ran up on the stage and grabbed a part of the tomb that was engulfed in flames.
“He was trying to keep the church safe and everybody else safe. That’s just how he reacted, and that is how Paul is,” said Sharon Witts, the parishioner who videotaped the event.
The Canton Fire Department was notified of the incident on Monday, and said only on very rare occasions are special effects of that nature permitted.
The investigation may lead to citations.
(Fox 8’s Roc Woodrum contributed to this report.)