Three buildings destroyed by fire at former Branch Davidian site

St. Louis Post-Net/October 18, 2000

WACO, Texas (AP) -- Suspicious fires destroyed three small buildings at the former Branch Davidian compound where cult leader David Koresh and 75 followers died after their 51-day standoff with federal agents.

No one was injured in the fires at the Mount Carmel site 10 miles east of Waco.

The blazes leveled the home of Amo Bishop Roden, former common-law wife of one-time Branch Davidian leader George Roden, and two museums she used to chronicle the group's history, including the deadly 1993 standoff.

"There was no wind and it had been damp. It's hard to believe an electrical fire or other accidental fire could have spread to all three buildings," said Terry Fuller, a detective with the McLennan County Sheriff's Department.

Officials did not have any suspects in the fires that occurred late Wednesday or early Thursday, Fuller told the Waco Tribune-Herald on Friday.

He said he was unable to locate Ms. Roden to tell her of the fires. She was believed to be honeymooning in Florida.

George Roden had a 1987 falling out with Koresh and was committed to a mental hospital after he was found innocent by reason of insanity in a 1989 slaying.

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