Fire officials: New Haven mosque fire intentionally set

Posted: Updated:
NEW HAVEN -

Fire officials confirmed Tuesday that the fire at the Diyanet Mosque of New Haven was intentionally set.

The New Haven fire chief says the fire began on the first floor and spread to the second around 4 p.m. Sunday. Police say they have since found evidence of an incendiary device or material was used to start the fire.

The building that has been under construction and suffered extensive damage to both floors, was deemed uninhabitable.

"For any house of worship to be attacked is a problem that all of us should be concerned about," says Farhan Memon, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Churches and mosques and synagogues aren't attacked in isolation."

Many who attend services at the mosque say the construction work was nearing completion and was being run on donations.

"I never thought it would hit home for me itself. Especially in the city that I live in," says Faraz Sabir, of New Haven. "I was born and raised here, so that's something that's a little too close to home."

A number of organizations and residents have reached out to public for help in the hope of rebuilding.

The mosque's damages add up to a total of $500,000. A GoFundMe page has also been set up by a local resident who attended the mosque.

A $2,500 reward is being offered by investigators to anyone who can provide information about the fire. The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is also offering $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.

RELATED: Fire rips through New Haven mosque 

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