Fence placed around MLK birth home after attempted arson

ATLANTA — A chain-link fence now surrounds the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in northeast Atlanta.

“We heard it was shut down. And when we got here, we saw the fence. So it was an injustice for us,” visitor Charles Stewart told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington.

“We’re disappointed,” he added.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

In December, video showed a woman, later identified as 26-year-old Laneisha Henderson, dousing the MLK birth home with gasoline.

A passerby stopped her and two retired NYPD officers detained her until APD officers arrived. Henderson is charged with arson.

Last week, Martin Luther King III talked about the incident.

“They actually were able to avert what could have been a very tragic set of circumstances,” said Martin Luther King III.


“The fence is up mainly, because we’re in the process of preserving the house,” Marty Smith with the National Park Service told Washington on Monday.

Smith said the historic home is under renovation. He said the fence will help protect the property while NPS figures out a permanent plan.

“We are looking at other solutions that we can do in order to make sure this home is preserved and protected so future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy it,” Smith explained.

There will be two public meetings on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 to discuss ways to better preserve and protect the historic home.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Comments on this article