Las Vegas Sun

August 21, 2014

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February fire at Islamic religious site continues to baffle authorities

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Jackie Valley

Investigators have not determined what caused a fire at a construction site for a funeral home and cemetery to serve the Islamic Society of Nevada. The location is 4425 E. Cartier Ave., near Lamb Boulevard and Carey Avenue.

Site of Feb. 22 fire

County and federal agencies are seeking the public’s help in solving a Feb. 22 fire that caused about $1.5 million in damage when it engulfed an Islamic religious site that was under construction.

The Clark County Fire Department and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have no evidence that suggests the early-morning fire was a hate crime, according to Clark County officials.

Investigators said a person or people started the northeast valley fire but are unsure if the fire was accidental or arson, county officials said.

“We have pursued a number of potential leads in this case, but none of them have allowed us to identify who caused the fire,” Clark County Fire Chief Bertral Washington said in a media release.

Khalid Khan, president of the Islamic Society of Nevada, told the Las Vegas Sun in February that he didn't believe the fire was related to religious bias.

“I don’t think it was a hate crime,” he said. “It’s my opinion.”

Sixty firefighters responded to the blaze at 4425 E. Cartier Ave., near Lamb Boulevard and Carey Avenue.

Multiple agencies, including Metro Police and the FBI, also have assisted in the investigation. ATF is involved because of the religious nature and the estimated cost of damage done to the two-story development.

Anyone with information about the fire can call Crime Stoppers of Nevada at 385-5555.

A news conference is planned for Wednesday at the site. The conference is hosted the valley religious leaders, including Gard Jameson, chairman of the Interfaith Council of South Nevada.

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