Church suspects arson after fire
Popular clergyman Aaron Dumas, pastor of the First Baptist Church, has labelled Friday's inferno which gutted a building owned by his church along Sandringham Avenue as intentional and says he suspect it was an act of arson.
Speaking with THE STAR yesterday at a Mother's Day brunch, Dumas said "Fire just couldn't burn a place like that, just not on its own."
Ruling out electrical shortage, he said: "The power wasn't on. No electricity is there. We were in the process of having that installed. We just did some refurbishing."
Up to late last night, police and fire personnel were unable to say what caused the blaze.
The building was purchased by the church to operate as a college. Dumas told our news team that there have been some problems in the past.
"Men have gone in and tried to break in.," he said.
Dumas said though the issue was a setback, the church is resilient and will have to do its best to bounce back. He said the church is a praying church, and that each member will do their best to get past this phase. He also revealed that the church will seek the advice of engineers to see how they could go forward.
According to Dumas, the church was planning to use the burnt building to train people for the ministry and also offer evening classes. "We had people who would like to go to school, but they can't go in the daytime and therefore they could attend in the evening to learn skill. There would also be a department to train men and women for the ministry," he said.
William Lawrence, a deacon at the church, told our news team that the building was bought with the community and the church in mind. He said: "It is indeed a setback for the church and the community because the money that we are going to use to repair it, could have been used to put in more chairs for the school. With the help of God, we will just move on."