ARLINGTON, Va. - Fire investigators are looking into two separate fires that have taken place at two Jehovah’s Witnesses halls in the past two days. The most recent fire happened Thursday and investigators are trying to determine if the incidents are connected.
When employees arrived at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Arlington shortly after 10 a.m., they found a door leading to the hall on fire. Firefighters put it out within minutes, but their attention has shifted as they say this is likely the work of an arsonist.
“We did smell an accelerant upon our arrival,” said Arlington County Fire Lt. Deputy Jason Hart. “We also had a neighboring jurisdiction bring in their accelerant dog which was able to come around and investigate the scene. He did hit on around that door area for use of an accelerant.”
“It's shocking,” said member Carlos Quezada. “It's never happened before with us. This is the first time I hear that.”
Mercy Musond said this incident will not deter her from coming to worship here.
“Not really because it's never happened before,” said Mercy Musond. “I believe we are safe.”
A minister at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses said staff is reviewing its security plan.
A similar incident happened Wednesday at another church four miles away in Falls Church.
“There is a similar case in our neighboring jurisdiction where another Jehovah's Witness church also had a fire there and we are investigating and coordinating with their office to determine if this is related,” said Hart.