Man attempts to set fire to Masonic Lodge, a building next to Ansin

by Andrew Doerfler / Beacon Staff • March 20, 2014

A man was arrested Monday night after allegedly attempting to set fire to the Grand Masonic Lodge of Massachusetts at the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets, according to the Boston Fire Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

At 7:46 p.m., Kevin Jones, 31 of Dorchester, allegedly walked into 186 Tremont St. and began pouring lighter fluid on sofas in the first floor lobby, said Boston Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald. He tried to set the fluid aflame with a lighter, MacDonald said, but was stopped and detained by a security guard at the lodge.

No fire ignited at the building, which directly abuts Emerson’s Ansin Building. Jones has no apparent connection to the Masons of Massachusetts or the lodge, said D.A. spokesman Jake Wark.

MacDonald said that Boston Police responded “almost instantaneously”; the security guard only detained the suspect for a few minutes before his arrest by Boston Police. There were no injuries or damages, according to the fire department. MacDonald said the scene was cleared in about 15 minutes.

After arraignment in Boston Municipal Court Tuesday afternoon, the man was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for mental health evaluation, according Wark. Jones was arraigned on charges of attempting to burn a building and causing damage to a place of worship, according to the D.A.’s office. However, prosecutors plan to move to withdraw the latter charge because it does not include fraternal organizations such as the Masons. Jones’ next court date is April 9.

Emerson College police did not respond to the scene because the building is not school property, said Lieutenant Robert Bousquet.