Cleveland firefighters at church on East 142nd and Kinsman - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Suspicious fire destroys Kinsman church and two other businesses

Storefront fire on Kinsman new E. 142nd Storefront fire on Kinsman new E. 142nd
Storefront fire on Kinsman new E. 142nd Storefront fire on Kinsman new E. 142nd
Storefront fire on Kinsman new E. 142nd Storefront fire on Kinsman new E. 142nd
Storefront fire on Kinsman new E. 142nd Storefront fire on Kinsman new E. 142nd

Cleveland firefighters spent several hours on Kinsman battling a major blaze at a church between E. 142nd and E. 143rd.

The call for the fire was received shortly after 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1st.

Pastor Jessie Brown told 19 Action News reporter Dan Deroos that he and another man had just finished worshipping inside St. Jude Church of God in Christ when he walked out and locked the door.

That's when he heard a loud "pop", looked up and saw smoke. 

"Were you there at the time," DeRoos asked?

"Yes we were there. We, at the time we closed up, we heard something pop, like a boom. Went and locked the door, locked the gate and all of the sudden we saw smoke coming from everywhere. So we don't really know what happened," Brown explained.

The fire spread to two businesses on either side of the church. A thrift store called Everything and Then Some and on the other side, Golden Light Chinese Food.

RTA  rerouted bus #14 for a short time, at the request of Cleveland firefighters.

No one was injured in the fire. The cause remains under investigation, though Lt. Larry Gray said the blaze appears to be suspicious.

St. Jude Church of God in Christ has a membership of about 25 people.

It is considered a total loss.

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