Investigators: Fire at Houston mosque was intentional

Investigators believe the fire at a southwest Houston mosque was set intentionally. Firefighters responded to the fire Friday afternoon.

HOUSTON - Investigators believe the two-alarm fire at a Houston mosque was intentionally set, according to the Houston Fire Department.

Investigators said they are looking through surveillance video to see if cameras captured a potential suspect.

Firefighters with HFD initially responded to the fire Friday afternoon.

The fire was put out shortly after crews arrived on the scene and no injuries were reported.

There is no word on the amount of damage to the mosque, but officials said several other businesses in the shopping center were damaged by the heavy smoke.

On Saturday, congregants prayed in a different space from their usual mosque. They gathered in a temporary space nearby, in the same shopping plaza located at 11226 South Wilcrest near Belfort.

"Everything happened so quickly, in such a short time," Shamim Qadri, a longtime worshiper at this mosque.

He and his daughter had just completed afternoon prayers Friday when the flames broke out.

"It is very sad. We don't really talk about that whether somebody did it or what, but we think it's an accident," said Fauzia Qadri.

However, investigators said it appears to be no accident, according to the fire department. Arson investigators spent most of the day Saturday at the mosque, collecting evidence and interviewing business owners.

"It's a place of worship. It's Christmas day," said MJ Khan of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston. "There were Friday prayers and everyone was here doing their prayers and then this happened."

The society warned parishioners not to spread rumors about how the fire started while vowing that they'll help rebuild this mosque as quickly as possible.

Worshipers tell KHOU 11 News the plumbing and electrical functioning in the building need to be checked out before the mosque can open again.

Investigators have no leads on any suspects, but they want the community to know they're using every resource necessary.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment