Dallas

Investigators searching for arsonist who torched a South Dallas LGBT community center

Fire, ruled arson by Dallas Fire-Rescue, gutted a converted house in South Dallas that was converted in 2005 into a community center for the area’s LGBT community.
Fire, ruled arson by Dallas Fire-Rescue, gutted a converted house in South Dallas that was converted in 2005 into a community center for the area’s LGBT community. McClatchy Co.

Dallas firefighters have confirmed that a two-alarm fire set Friday at a South Dallas LGBT community center was done so intentionally.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said the fire was started just after 6 a.m. Friday near the back of a home in the 1800 block of Peabody Avenue, that was converted in 2005 to a community center offering counseling, medical treatment, HIV testing and other STD prevention resources.

Kirk Meyers, CEO of Abounding Prosperity, Inc., which runs the facility, told WFAA-TV that the arsonist broke through a back gate and and used an accelerant to start the fire. Before Dallas firefighers could put the fire out, around 7 a.m., the fire had gutted a back office and caused heavy smoke damage to the rest of the building.

The extensive damage would lead to an interruption of HIV testing services the facility provides to roughly 2,000 men each year, Meyers said.

Though Dallas-Fire Rescue confirmed that the fire appeared to be set intentionally, they are not labeling the incident a hate crime at this time.

Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667, @MCTinez817

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