Second church in Staten Island firebombed within a week

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STATEN ISLAND -- This second firebombing on a Stapleton church happened First Central Baptist Church on Wright Street at 1:43 a.m. just days after the first attack at another church on Staten Island.

Minister Dale Smith says someone tossed a Molotov cocktail from the church's grassy side parking lot setting a side awning on fire.

A passing EMS ambulance spotted the flames and called police who put out the fire.

A surveillance camera out front captured the fireball.

"We live in s broken world," Minister Dale Smith of the First Central Baptist Church told PIX11. "We're very blessed no one was hurt. It could have done a lot of damage."

First Central Baptist is a vibrant community-based church of more than 1000 members.

Many are so shocked by what police are calling a possible hate crime.

"It's somebody who doesn't know anything, who doesn't care," Christine Brown, a church trustee, told PIX11. "We believe in it, this is our home."

This firebombing at First Central Baptist comes just five days after a Molotov cocktail was tossed through the open stained window of nearby landmarked St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

It happened sometime between noon Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday, charring the floor inside the beautiful church.

"All it did was damage the floor," Christopher Still, the church custodian told PIX11. "A few more feet this way and if could have flared into something really bad"

Police are looking into the possibility that the two firebombings are related.