Arson damages Jehovah’s Witnesses building

by Beep,Beep 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • Beep,Beep
    Beep,Beep Arson damages Jehovah’s Witnesses building Blaze set in basement of worship hall Monday, June 26, 2006 Theodore Decker THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    The fire that damaged a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses building in Clinton Township early yesterday was deliberately set, investigators say.

    Federal and local authorities are now searching for the arsonist or arsonists who broke into the hall at 4151 N. Hickman Rd., about a half-mile south of Morse Road.

    Firefighters were summoned to the hall at 1:36 a.m. by an automatic fire alarm, said Lt. Doug Brown of the Clinton Township Fire Department.

    The fire, in the basement, was extinguished within 30 minutes.

    None of the roughly 100 firefighters to respond was injured. Tom Wiley, a presiding overseer at the hall, estimated the damage to be at least $30,000.

    A motive was unclear. No arrests were made yesterday, and the fire is under investigation by township authorities and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which typically helps investigate fires at places of worship.

    Wiley said three congregations totaling about 350 people regularly worship at the hall. The building houses the main meeting hall and other rooms, including two libraries.

    Though the brick building appears intact from the outside, Wiley said the basement sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage. Religious literature and computer equipment were lost to the flames, he said.

    "Most of the upstairs wasn’t damaged, except for maybe the smell of smoke," he said.

    He said it appeared those responsible rifled through cabinets as though looking for money or valuables. Nothing appeared to have been taken.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses began building the hall in 1958 and finished two years later. They have had few problems with crime since then, with a break-in to a tool shed on the property about the worst incident that Wiley could recall.

    "It’s a sign of the times," he said. Witnesses are taught not to be vindictive and to place trust in Jehovah, he said.

    "He’ll take care of it," Wiley said. "If he sees fit to take action, he will."

    [email protected]

  • AuldSoul

    Wow! That is sad.

    That is my old Kingdom Hall. My wife and I attended the Spanish Congregation, Forest Park Congregation, and Worthington Congregation during the 8 years we were in Ohio. All three of those congregations met in that Hall.

    Thanks for sharing that, Beep,Beep. Tom Wiley was our Congregation Book Study overseer for almost two years and our Presiding Overseer for over two years.

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan
    Witnesses are taught not to be vindictive .......... "He’ll take care of it," Wiley said............

  • blondie
    He'll take care of it...........

    that's right, BATF and the police will investigate and take care of it.


    PS I see now that 3 congregations (1 Spanish) meet in the building which explains the 2 libraries.

    Looking for valuables: probably didn't know they could make a fortune on E-bay with very old WTS books and that some JWs and ex-JWs would have paid for copies of judicial cases (assuming the elders had them at the KH like the WTS says). Sound equipment probably was old as were the computers, not worthy carrying out. Probably set fire out of frustration of not finding any valuables.

    Sign of the times...that's right only KHs are torched.......not

  • sass_my_frass

    Hooray, persecution!!! Armageddon must be very close!

  • Stealth453

    Now this really breaks my heart. NOT!!!!

    Should become a new trend, if you ask me.

  • Wordly Andre
    Wordly Andre

    It was probably some elders getting stoned in the basement. Rolling up a doobie in last month's Awake, wait maybe someone let some Demons in to the hall and the basement of the hall was like Hell aready. Or could it be just some faulty wiring, done by unskilled witness forced labor. hummm sounds like a scooby doo mystery

  • Calliope

    someone wasn't praying hard enough.

  • Wordly Andre
    Wordly Andre

    "someone wasn't praying hard enough." Why because it did burn all the way down, Burn baby burn!!!

  • jgnat

    Calliope/Stealth/WorldlyAndre, shame on you. I wouldn't wish this kind of disaster on my worst enemy. A fire like this leaves people feeling vulnerable, exposed. You should know that JW's especially, don't need their worst fears realized.

Share this