Rev. Arthur Allen, the pastor at the House of Prayer, died Monday in a hospital where he was taken for treatment after he was discovered in a house fire, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner.
The fire started shortly before noon Monday in the bottom floor of a home on Lookout Avenue in Northwest Atlanta.
"There were a lot of people up there crying, there was a bunch of children and women up there crying," a witness said.
Allen, 81, was a controversial pastor accused a decade ago of mistreating children at his church by way of corporal punishment.
"I heard bad things about him, but I'm not going to judge anyone. That's not my job to. He died? Man, no," Neighbor Demarius Armstrong said.
Neighbors said they never saw that side of Allen and they truly believe the pastor of the House of Prayer will be missed.
"He took care of a bunch of people. He had a bunch of children and a bunch woman that stayed up there so I know it's going to be sad to them," a witness said.
It's uncertain what caused the fire. Investigators did say one firefighter sustained first degree burns to their hand, but should be fine.
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