Dorchester man charged with trying to set fire to Masonic temple

A Dorchester man is facing charges that he walked into the Grand Lodge of Masons in downtown Boston Monday night and attempted to set the lobby’s furniture on fire, police said.

Kevin Jones, 31, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court to charges of attempted arson and threatening to destroy a place of worship, authorities said. The threatening charge will be withdrawn because the statute does not cover fraternal organizations, according to a statement from the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

Jones was sent for a mental health evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital, and is scheduled to return to court on April 9, the district attorney’s office said.

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Police and firefighters responded to reports of an attempted arson at the lodge on Tremont Street at 7:46 p.m. Monday, said Steve MacDonald, Boston Fire Department spokesman.

Jones allegedly entered the building carrying a tin of flammable liquid that he began pouring over several sofas.

“Then he pulled out a cigarette lighter, and the on-duty security officer ran over and restrained him until Boston police arrived to place him under arrest,” MacDonald said.

Fire investigators are determining what kind of fluid Jones was using. No injuries were reported.

Police also have not yet determined Jones’s motive, officials said.