Pathways blaze not arson, says St James fire chief
Assistant Superintendent Donovan McLaren (left) and DistrictOfficer Oneal Kerr of the St James Fire Department examinea section of Pathways International Kingdom RestorationMinistries yesterday following Sunday night's fire at thepremises. (Photo: Philp Lemonte)

MONTEGO BAY, St James St James Fire Department Superintendent Dolfin Doeman says Sunday night's fire at Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries in Albion was not the work of arsonists.

According to the superintendent, the fire was lit on the pile of rubbish, which included rotting meat, to rid the building of the foul smell emanating from it.

“When we got there we discovered that there were items inside the church, food items and other debris, that were set on fire. From all indications somebody lit them, not to burn the structure, but to get rid of the items that were there that may have been causing a nuisance to them,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Doeman said his department received a call about 10:12 pm that a fire was at the church.

He added that the blaze was extinguished by firefighters who responded with two units.

He further noted that the police were present during the operation.

The church and its then controversial leader Kevin Smith have been at the centre of outrage over the past two weeks.

Two members of the church were killed in an alleged human sacrifice ritual, and a third shot dead after reportedly attacking the police on Sunday, October 17.

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