Firefighters battling two-alarm fire at SW Houston TX mosque
A two-alarm fire caused major damage at a mosque in southwest Houston, but no one was injured in the Christmas Day blaze, officials said. The mosque is located at 11226 South Wilcrest near Belfort.
No injuries have been reported. Officials think there are multiple origins of the fire so they are investigating as suspicious based on that finding. HOUSTON (KTRK) — A two-alarm fire caused major damage at a mosque in southwest Houston, but no one was injured in the Christmas Day blaze
The fire started around 2:45pm Friday at the Islamic Society of Greater Houston in the 1100 block of Wilcrest Drive.
“When firefighters opened the rear doors, they discovered heavy fire and smoke. They began their attack cautiously at first,” Deputy Chief Fernando Herrera with the Houston Fire Department said.
Answering the question what started it will take much longer.
“We don’t have anything here high tech, cooking or kitchen, anything that can cause this kind of fire. The only thing is pointing to is it could be hate or something, you know,” Saleen Memon said.
Arson police spent a past few hours going through the building.
Some who pray at the mosque fear a hate crime.
The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Houston) called on local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for the fire, in a statement late Friday evening.
“Because of the recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this fire,” said CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll, who is talking with mosque officials and investigators at the scene of the fire.
KHOU reports that there is no word on the amount of damage to the mosque, but officials said several other businesses in the area were damaged by the heavy smoke as well.
“It makes it a little better if it’s an electrical fire but we’re hoping it’s not arson. It is one of the holiest days of the year for a lot of people. We revere profit Jesus these things for us are paramount,” Carroll said.
On Friday night, prayer was held at a neighboring ballroom.
“The owner of the property allowed us to use that space until we fix our place again,” Adbul Hafiz says as he left prayer.
About 80 firefighters battled the Friday blaze. A nearby pharmacy also sustained smoke damage from the fire.