Skip to comments.Fast moving fire destroys would-be Muslim center (Paterson, NJ)
Posted on 07/25/2005 5:30:59 PM PDT by 4.1O dana super trac pak
PATERSON - It was to be a Muslim youth center, a place for people to meet and mingle, but after a fire ravaged the building Sunday, it was nothing more than a toppled pile of charred bricks.
A fast-moving blaze broke out around 4 p.m. and within 30 minutes had destroyed the historic warehouse at West Railway and Genessee avenues. The outer walls did not buckle under pressure, but everything inside succumbed. Three stories collapsed into one, and the wooden interiors fed the fire's fury even more.
The Islamic Center of Passaic County purchased the abandoned warehouse in June 2003 for $1.25 million - money raised entirely from local donations. Community members wanted to build a place for their children to spend time after school and on weekends.
Tucked away inside South Paterson, across the street from the city's outdoor produce market, the youth center would have been in the heart of North Jersey's Muslim community. Nearly 25,000 Muslims live in a four-mile radius.
But since there was nothing inside the building, and no utilities hooked up, some were left wondering if this was arson. The building's windows were nailed shut with boards, and the doors locked. A wooden 8-foot-tall fence used to hug the perimeter.
"It's very suspicious," said Sohail Mohammed, a community member. "Things are pointing in that direction. I hope not, but I'm afraid that it is."
Others on the scene said this could be a backlash because of deadly bombings in London this month, believed to be set off by Islamic extremists. Many said they would reserve judgment until an investigation was concluded.
Crews from Paterson, Clifton, and other surrounding towns got the fire under control. No one was injured. Arson specialists from the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office and Paterson Police Department were examining the scene Sunday evening.
"The fire was very fast and intense," said Paterson Councilman Aslon Goow, a member of the public safety committee. "Within five minutes everything caved in. It burned entirely from one end to the other."
Members of the Islamic Center of Passaic County planned to meet Sunday night and discuss the next steps: clearing debris and moving forward.
"It's a tragic day," said Nabil Abbassi, head of the development committee. "But we are resolved to continue in this project."
hmm...what exactly did these jersy muslims do on 9/11 again? i can't seem to remember. I know it was something we all saw on TV..
Oh no... such a tragedy for the Religion of Peace...
It is very suspicious. How much was it insured for, and what is that money going to buy? What better way to raise money for ISLAM in America.
(Laughter suppressed only with the greatest effort!)
Ain't that a shame.
They rule out terrorism?
On the other hand, how could you tell the difference between the wrecked Muslim center and other parts of Paterson? That's one poor town.
they burned it themselves - having an issue that they can use to blame on "anti-islamic americans" is important to them, more important then a fire in an empty building.
They're not looking at "hate crime." They're looking at "insurance fraud."
Speaks volumes about Passaic County, if true.
The cause of the fire was determined to be a lightning bolt from out of a clear blue sky.
Trainning session gone bac?