Thursday, November 1, 2007

Arsonist Targets Miriam's Kitchen

On Oct. 30, at around 3 a.m., an arsonist set fire to a large church room where Miriam’s Kitchen, a homeless services provider, serves meals to the homeless in northwest D.C. Police are investigating.

“Apparently, someone had broken into a window in our dining area...[used] some kind of accelerant like gasoline and lit it,” Scott Schenkelberg, executive director of Miriam’s Kitchen, said.

A sprinkler system in the building had put out most of the blaze by the time firefighters arrived.

"Fortunately, there was relatively minor damage,” Schenkelberg said. “[There was] fire damage and three inches of water from the sprinkler system.”

The kitchen opened its doors about 15 minutes late the next morning as a result of the fire.

“[We’ve] been able to adapt,” Schenkelberg said. Miriam’s Kitchen will try to repair damages outside normal hours of operation to minimize disruption to program guests, he said.

There are no suspects at this time. “Obviously, it’s somebody that needs help,” Schenkelberg said.

Miriam’s Kitchen’s services include breakfast, case management and social services for the chronically homeless.

By Desiree Perez

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