No good deed goes unpunished, and in the town of Lexington, North Carolina, a town of about 20,000 an hour north of Charlotte, that took the horrific form of a woman setting fire to a church building and local food pantry that serves hundreds during a barbeque festival in October.
The woman charged with the horrific crime is Aimee Lakey, who is 42 years old. Lakey is being held on a $25,000 bond and allegedly started the fire at a church building that Lexington’s Jesus Comes First (JFC) Ministries. She set that fire during Lexington’s Lexington Barbeque Festival.
The fire was deemed, by local law enforcement, suspicious in nature. It ripped through an extensive portion of the church and food pantry, torching a huge amount of food that had been collected for the needy and creating a massive column of smoke that towered over the area. Though there were no victims, that food is gone for good and the fire and attempts to put it out caused extensive water, burn, and smoke damage.
Fortunately, the Lexington Fire Department was able to put out the roaring blaze and, thanks to their prompt and somewhat successful efforts, church staff could salvage some amount of the food items from the food pantry before it was too late.
The Lexington Police Department, commenting on the incident in a press release posted to Facebook, said, “On Sunday, November 12, 2023, Lexington Police Officers arrested 42-year-old Aimee Lakey concerning a fire on Main Street on October 28. Lakey was charged with burning of a church, and bond has been set at $25,000. The church is owned by Jesus Comes First Ministries. The original information from Lexington Fire Department is included below.”
Continuing, the police department added, “On Saturday, October 28, at approximately 2:45 pm during the Lexington BBQ Festival, the Lexington Fire Department responded to a structure fire involving a church at 1700 South Main Street. A large column of smoke was visible during the response, and a second alarm was initiated.”
The department then added, “Upon arrival, the first crew on the scene saw smoke coming from the rear of the structure and immediately began to work on extinguishing the fire. Additional crews checked the interior for possible victims and checked if the fire had extended to other parts of the building. Firefighters determined that the fire was contained to a rear porch area, and no victims were in the building. The Church served as a food bank and had large supplies of perishable foods to feed the needy. Fire crews coordinated with church staff to help determine a remedy to remove the foods that needed to remain cooled and frozen.”
Concluding, the department added, “The Lexington Fire Marshal’s Office initiated an investigation to determine the origin and cause of the fire. Assisting in the investigation are the Davidson County Fire Marshal’s Office, the NC Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The structure sustained substantial smoke and water damage and is currently uninhabitable. There were no injuries to fire personnel.”
Featured image credit: Lexington Police Department
"*" indicates required fields