Fire Destroys Building That Was To Become Muslim Center

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by -Cp, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. -Cp

    -Cp Senior Member

    Sep 23, 2004
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    Gee.. what a shame:

    Fire Destroys Building That Was To Become Muslim Center

    POSTED: 12:45 pm EDT July 26, 2005

    PATERSON, N.J. -- Investigators on Tuesday continued examining the charred remains of a vacant building owned by the Islamic Center of Passaic County.

    Mosque leaders, who planned to start a community center at the site, said they were concerned that the fire may have been set in a bias attack, noting that the building was secured by an 8-foot fence and locked gate.

    Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano said he could not comment on that until a cause is found. "Right now, it's still being listed as undetermined," he said Tuesday.

    The 110-year-old brick, three-story building, which had been a lighting factory, was destroyed Sunday afternoon. Arson investigators were unable to visit much of the interior because the remains were unstable. Standing portions were demolished Monday.

    The mosque bought the property for about $1.2 million in 2003. It was not covered by fire insurance because it had not determined if the structure would be converted or razed so a new building could be constructed, said Nabil Abbassi, head of the Islamic Center's development committee.

    The mosque had been awaiting word from the city's Historic Preservation Commission about whether the building had to be kept.

    The mosque planned to have preschool and after-school programs at the site, along with a food market.

    Security at the mosque was increased after the fire, with men standing guard outside during prayers, Abbassi said.

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