Police Arrest Mississippi Serial Arsonist Who Allegedly Set Fire To Seven Buildings, Including Two Churches


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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An alleged arsonist was arrested Tuesday in connection to seven structure fires, including fires at two churches in Jackson, Mississippi.

Devin McLaurin was arrested after a joint effort between Jackson Police Department and Hinds County sheriff’s deputies identified him as the suspected arsonist targeting structures throughout Jackson, according to WAPT. The fires were all started overnight in the West Jackson area.

One of the churches, Epiphany Lutheran, was completely destroyed, while the other, Greater Bethlehem Temple Church, suffered severe fire damage to the historic portion of its structure, WAPT reported. Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Armon told the outlet that they started receiving calls in the middle of the night, and arrived on the scene around 4:30am at one of the churches.

The team immediately suspected arson and called investigators and the police department to the scene, Armon told WAPT. He said that even though his team have seen things like this before, they have never seen anything so significant that required such a large response from the local fire departments.

“This was like a home church, and it brought families together,” an Epiphany Lutheran Church member told the outlet. “It educated us. This was like a village, and I just hate that this village has been destroyed. But it’s going to move on.” (RELATED: Police Find Four People Dead At Two Separate Fires, Suspect ‘Foul Play’)

The arsonist was denied bond on six charges of arson and given a $25,000 bond on a charge of malicious mischief, WLBT reported. Along with the two churches, McLaurin is accused of starting fires at a gas station, a baseball field at Jackson State University, and other areas of the state capital, Fox8 reported.