Palm Beach

Fire at Corey Jones Roadside Memorial Ruled Accidental: Palm Beach County Fire

Officials with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue have determined that a fire that destroyed a roadside memorial honoring Corey Jones on Thursday was accidental in nature.

According to NBC affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach, officials said the fire may have started from a knocked over candle at the memorial site, as items around the site burned but the fire never spread outside a 3 foot radius.

Jones' family left the memorial around 8 a.m. Thursday. They received a call from a family friend a few hours later who said he saw the site of the memorial on fire.

The family told WPTV they were brokenhearted at the thought that someone would have burned the memorial intentionally.

The friend, who owns a body camera business, had a camera mounted in his car which caught images of three to four foot flames rising from the memorial as he drove by at around 11:30 a.m.

On the video, WPTV reports that a Palm Beach Gardens police cruiser with lights and sirens is seen heading towards the fire and putting it out at 11:31 a.m., according to the time stamp on the video.

By the time the family arrived at the memorial, only ashes and some charred teddy bears remained.

Palm Beach Gardens Police told WPTV that they did not believe the fire was deliberate.

The family tells WPTV they intend to rebuild the memorial in the coming days.

Jones, 31, was driving on Interstate 95 when his vehicle broke down on Oct. 18. Police said Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja was not in uniform and was driving an unmarked van when he stopped to investigate around 3:15 a.m.

Raja fired six shots, striking Jones three times.

Jones' registered gun, purchased just a few days before the deadly confrontation, was never fired, according to the law firm representing his family.

It is not clear whether Jones knew Raja was an officer.

Raja was placed on paid administrative following the shooting, but was ultimately fired.

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