The beginning of Ramadan was darkened by a fire that consumed the Islamic Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
The incident happened on April 24th, around 5 a.m. Cape Girardeau police and firefighters rushed to the scene, successfully evacuating the tenants who occupied the apartments on the Center’s second floor. Some of them were already awake and preparing breakfast.
One of the firefighters almost got lost in the layouts if the building became disoriented and had to send a ‘Mayday’ signal. But eventually,
everyone made it out unharmed, reports KFVS. The second floor was damaged significantly, and the first floor had smoke damage at the entrance and the sidewall.
The nature of the fire points to arson. According to law enforcement authorities and Travis Hollis, the chief of the Cape Girardeau Fire Department, it started at the building’s front door. The State Fire Marshal, the ATF, and the FBI are investigating the incident. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for valid information that can lead to the arrest of potential perpetrators.
Missouri’s Governor Mike Parson made a post on his Facebook account, addressing the incident: “The Missouri Division of Fire Safety is part of a joint local-state-federal probe of this suspicious fire in Cape Girardeau. In Missouri, we won’t tolerate an attack on any house of worship. This was a cowardly act.”