Man arrested after entering New York church with fuel, lighter

A man has been arrested after entering a New York cathedral carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid, and lighters.

The close call on Wednesday (local time) comes just days after a devastating fire ravaged the Notre Dame in Paris.

The unidentified New Jersey man arrived at St Patrick's Cathedral, on Fifth Ave in Manhattan, and retrieved the supplies from his minivan.

"As he enters the cathedral he's confronted by a cathedral security officer," New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller told The Washington Post.

"[He] asks him where he's going and informs him he can't proceed into the cathedral carrying these things." 

Security notified officers from the counter terrorism bureau, who were stationed outside.

The officers quickly caught up to the man and questioned him, reports The Washington Post.

"His basic story was he was cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue; that his car had run out of gas," Miller said.

"We took a look at the vehicle. It was not out of gas, and at that point he was taken into custody."

According to Miller, the suspect is known to police and his background is being looked into.