Less than an hour after a fire extensively damaged an Independence church early Friday, a man claiming to be the arsonist called police and invited them to his house.
According to court records, Joseph W. Gazafy, 22, of Independence, told authorities that he was “in the mood for a midnight fire” and that he “got his rush.”
Jackson County prosecutors charged Gazafy later Friday with one count of second-degree arson in connection with the 1:45 a.m. fire at Outreach Restoration Branch Church in the 700 block of South Crysler Avenue.
Court records allege that Gazafy broke out a window on the church’s southeast corner and used gasoline to start the fire inside the building.
According to the court records, Gazafy called authorities to his house about 2:35 a.m., saying he had set the fire. He told them he had been upset and “wanted to get his family’s attention.” He allegedly added: “I think I should be able to burn down a church if I want.”
While in custody, he took off a shoe and dumped glass fragments from it into the trash, court records said. Police collected the glass as evidence.
His bond was set at $30,000.