Skip to comments.Fire rips through Islamic Center near San Diego
Posted on 08/17/2006 9:48:43 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
A fire ripped through an Islamic center early Thursday morning, causing $2 million in damages before it was put out, officials said.
The three-alarm fire at the Kurdish Community Islamic Center was reported just after 2 a.m. and burned for more than an hour before firefighters from 15 different crews extinguished it, said Monica Zech, a spokeswoman for the El Cajon Fire Department.
"When they got here, there was heavy smoke coming from the building and then the fire broke through the roof and flames were shooting through the roof," Zech said. "It's pretty much a total loss."
The cause of the fire in this east San Diego suburb was unknown. Investigators were unable to search for clues inside the building because it was unstable, Zech said. Instead, they used fire truck ladders to get an aerial view of the inside of the 800,000-square-foot community center, she said.
Arson investigators from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the FBI were on the scene.
The FBI would become involved if it was determined that the fire was a hate crime, Zech said.
Members of the community center arrived early Thursday for morning prayer, only to find the center in ashes. Zech said the center's owner was out of town.
Well sounds like a good start
On his way out of the country after burning the evidence?
Start in what direction? Anarchy?
did I read it right? The fire did $2 million worth of improvements? lol.
"the center's owner was out of town"
Could it be that they have figured out yet another way to take advantage of our system and laws by collecting insurance for more than the place is worth and stir up a hate crime investigation?
Any secondary explosions reported? /s
Do not be suprise if there is going to be more news reports happening more often, because I sense a HUGE angry backlash.
El Cajon mosque destroyed by fire
EL CAJON A fire ripped through a mosque and community center early Thursday morning, destroying the building and causing more than $2 million damage.
No one was injured in the blaze which was reported at 2:09 a.m. at the Kurdish Community Islamic Center and Al-Madina Al-Munawara mosque on Magnolia Avenue between Chamberlain and Camden Avenues, said El Cajon City fire spokeswoman Monica Zech.
Firefighters from several agencies including El Cajon, East County, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee, San Miguel and San Diego battled the three-alarm blaze, which officials believe started on the first floor in the center of the 2-story, 8,000 square-foot, brick and wood building.
The fire was extinguished by 3:21 a.m., Zech said. No one was inside the building at the time and no one was injured. Firefighters were still mopping up four hours later.
Zech said the fire burned very hot and quick and that when crews got there they found heavy smoke coming out of the structure.
Just as they arrived, flames shot through the roof, she said.
Forty-five firefighters with four ladder trucks battled the blaze from the outside because it was burning too intensely to go inside, Zech said.
Magnolia Avenue was shut down between Lexington and Washington Avenues until just before 7 a.m. as firefighters mopped up.
Zech said the blaze was estimated to have caused more than $2 million damage to the structure and its contents.
Investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Sheriff's Department bomb and arson squad were looking into the cause of the blaze, Zech said. She said it was too early too say whether the fire was arson or accidental.
The ATF is automatically called in to help investigate fires in places of worship.
Parts of the second floor of the structure collapsed and officials later deemed the entire south part of the building too unstable to enter.
That's slowing the investigation, Zech said.
Doski Jamal from La Mesa, who said he regularly comes to the center with his family, arrived there just before 7 a.m. to look at the damage. The 40-year-old, who came to the United States in 1997 from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, said looking at the damage just broke his heart.
This is very sad to see, this view, he said as he looked at the heavily damaged portion of the building that he said housed the women's area.
Doski said he did not believe the blaze was deliberately set. He said the center has never received any kinds of threats of any kind and that its members get along well with the neighbors. He also said the building and the gate surrounding it are locked at night.
Doski said the only problem they have is with the homeless people who camp around the area. Earlier in the morning investigators talked at length with a man who appeared to be homeless who was sitting in the middle of some bushes. He was later seen walking away with his backpack.
Probably arson ... no crocdile tears here.
Watch, bet it will be "solved" faster then the string of church fires that were in the south.
Any explosions? Secondary explosions? Kurdish? Shouldn't be a problem.
If it was arson, I'd put money on Sunnis or Shiites.
This will always be the challenge: can the Good Guys fight on the level of the Bad Guys?
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. One of these days we will have to take it to The Enemy, or we will all die.
bomb-making experiments gone wrong?