Bessemer motorcycle club where man was killed catches fire

By Melanie Posey

BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) - First it was the site of a homicide.  Now, Bessemer fire and police officials are investigating a fire at the Gettie Boyz Club.  

It was the early morning hours of Friday, July 2nd that Alabama A&M football star Maurice Thomas was shot and killed at that club.    Exactly two weeks later, around 5:30 Friday morning, July 16th that same club catches fire.  Over 50-percent of the building is burned and just about everything inside is damaged.  

Fire officials say what's recently happened here won't affect their investigation.  "It's getting a lot of attention," Fire Captain Michael Brannon says.  "But the way we work it will be no different than any other investigation that doesn't get attention."  

While fire officials have yet to determine how the blaze started, club members feel strongly someone set the fire.  The president of the Gettie Boyz says he did not understand why someone would do this, that the club had done nothing wrong.  He also pointed to the Gettie Boyz community service projects such as helping senior citizens and families at Christmas.  He says it's the community that's now lost the most.   

Some of Thomas' family members make no secret about their feelings towards the fire.  "My first thought…I was kind of happy," says Lorraine Goines, a cousin of Thomas.  She says now that the building is gone, it's one less problem her family has to worry about.  "I wouldn't want another family to go through the hurt we're going through now."

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