Fire officials: Tampa, Florida, Mosque Fire was Arson

Posted at 12:11 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 12:11:00-05

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Fire officials say a fire that damaged a Tampa area mosque was arson.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said in a news release the blaze occurred early Friday at the Islamic Society of New Tampa.

Fire investigators responded at around 2 a.m. and after gathering evidence they determined the fire was intentionally set. No one was there when the fire started.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida says an alarm company notified a mosque board member early Friday, and he found first responders there when he arrived.

The group says investigators from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives also responded. CAIR says the fire started at a door to the prayer hall. There was damage to the door and carpet inside from sprinkler water and smoke.

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