Tourist douses fire in Austrian church with holy water

International News

BERLIN (AP) — Vienna’s famous Dominican Church was saved from possible disaster after a tourist spotted two confessional boxes on fire and doused the flames with holy water.

Austria’s KAP Catholic news agency reported Wednesday the extent of the damage from the suspected arson at the church, also known as the Church of St. Maria Rotunda, wasn’t immediately clear.

But the prior of the Dominicans in Vienna, Guenter Reitzi, said it could have been much worse.

Reitzi told KAP, “I’m just grateful the fire did not continue to spread.”

Vienna’s fire department told The Associated Press that it responded to the call on June 12 and by the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had been put out.

Police are investigating but had no immediate details about the nationality of the tourist.

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