Fire at Islamic Center of Escondido may have been caused by arson
ESCONDIDO (KUSI) – Police believe an early morning fire at an Escondido mosque may have been caused by arson, an officer said.
The fire was reported around 3 a.m. at the Islamic Center of Escondido, according to Escondido Police Lt. Scott Walters. The mosque is on West Sixth Avenue near South Escondido Boulevard.
Seven people were inside the building when they noticed a fire had been set to the outside of the mosque, Escondido Police Lt. Chris Lick said. They were able to get the blaze out with a fire extinguisher and called 911.
None of the seven saw who set the fire. No one was injured, and the fire only caused minor exterior damage.
Graffiti was left on the building making reference to the terrorist attacks that killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier this month, Lick said.
Detectives were investigating the incident as an arson and a possible hate crime.
“Our message to community is to make sure they keep a watchful eye out,” Lick said. “If they see something suspicious, especially around a house of worship, they should call police.”