[Hpn] khou.com article from William Tinker

wtinker@metrocast.net wtinker@metrocast.net
Sun, 6 Feb 2005 17:00:20 -0600


William Tinker [wtinker@metrocast.net] has sent you a story from khou.com.
(Page at: http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou050206_gj_arsonarrest.808f2bf6.html)


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Homeless man charged with setting church fire

01:20 PM CST on Sunday, February 6, 2005

>From 11 News Staff Reports

 Houston police have charged a homeless man with setting a blaze that destroyed an historic church.

 Police say they learned about 39-year-old James Hamilton's alleged role in the arson fire during an unrelated narcotics sweep on Friday.

 Witnesses say Hamilton had been inside the Bethel Baptist church just before flames erupted last month.

 The blaze nearly destroyed the structure, which was built by former slaves more than 100 years ago.

 "What we believe, as members of the church is that if it's the person, we're glad that he's off the street and this won't happen to anyone else," said Pastor Robert Robertson, Bethel Baptist Church.

 Police think Hamilton probably started the fire to stay warm.

 Meantime, Pastor Robertson says they do plan on holding fundraisers in an attempt to rebuild.