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State Fire Marshal: Blaze intentionally set at site of future Daytona mosque

By Katie Kustura, For The Daytona Beach News-Journal, On 26 January 2016, Read Original
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Daytona Beach firefighters responded Sunday afternoon to 825 Derbyshire Road where the State Fire Marshal said the blaze was intentionally set. Provided photo.


DAYTONA BEACH — The fire that damaged a vacant building set to become a mosque was intentionally set, according to the State Fire Marshal.

Patrick Henry, the commissioner of the zone where the structure is located, said officials believe some homeless people may have started the fire.

"It's kind of hard to keep people out of there, especially when it gets cold," Henry said of the empty building.

Firefighters arrived at 825 Derbyshire Road, the former Daytona Beach YMCA building, just before 3:45 p.m. Sunday and found heavy brown smoke, according to a Daytona Beach fire report released Monday. Once crews made entry, they found a room engulfed in flames.

Upon extinguishing the blaze, firefighters discovered books had been set on fire, according to the report. The report did not describe what kind of books had been burned.

Henry said the Islamic Center of Daytona Beach, which owns the 32,000-square-foot building and has plans to make it a mosque, has not yet started renovating or moving property to the new site, so the burned materials are believed to have been left behind by the YMCA.

The building sustained about $5,000 in damages, according to the report.

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