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“He is doing very well,” Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, South Africa’s ambassador to Argentina, told reporters gather ...more »
MONTEGO BAY, St James — The St James Fire Department were up to late yesterday still trying to ascertain the cause of an early morning fire which razed a section of the oldest Jehovah's Witnesses kingdom hall and an adjoining abandoned building on Queen Street here.
A preliminary estimate puts the losses at $15 million. The building was insured.
The kingdom hall was the first to be established in the parish.
According to Dolphin Doeman, superintendent of the St James Division of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, four units responded to a call about 4:43 am that the abandoned building was on fire.
The fire subsequently spread to the adjoining kingdom hall. The firefighters were, however, successful in preventing the blaze from spreading to other buildings on the cluttered street.
Church member Clarence Forbes said only a library towards the front of the building was spared.
"The fire started at this (abandoned) building and spread to kingdom hall and caused severe damage; we just managed to save the library. That's all that was saved," he said.
He said, come Sunday, the more than 100 members will have to worship at other kingdom halls across the resort city.
"We will always meet. If it is even under a tree, we will meet. This [kingdom hall church is the oldest in St James. This is where it all started," Forbes told the Jamaica Observer.
Caution tape runs along the fence of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Montego Bay, parts of which were razed by fire early yesterday. The
fire started at an adjoining building then spread to the kingdom hall. (Photo: Kenroy Pringle)
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