Bahai News -- Guardian - Authorities: L.A. Fires Were Arson
Authorities: L.A. Fires Were Arson
Wednesday May 7, 2003 11:19 PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Four fires over 11 days at religious buildings were deliberately set, likely by a single arsonist, authorities said
The buildings were a Presbyterian church, a Bahai community center and two synagogues in the Encino area of the San Fernando Valley. No one has
Fire Chief William Bamattre said he suspects the fires were started by one person.
``We're just horrified ... it just sickens all of us,'' said Jennifer Laing, whose husband is pastor of First Presbyterian Church, scene of the
first fire April 26. It caused about $20,000 damage.
A fire at Valley Beth Shalom early Wednesday was extinguished by the facility's sprinkler system. On Monday, a fire at the Bahai Community
Center caused at least $10,000 damage, and a blaze set 12 hours later burned the roof of an Iranian synagogue. No damage estimate was
A small incendiary device appeared to have been tossed through a window of the Valley Beth Shalom synagogue, Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn said
at a news conference there.
``You know these senseless acts are more than just crimes,'' Hahn said. ``People have come here because maybe they faced persecution in other
countries for practicing their faith. So this is something we can't tolerate here in Los Angeles.''
©Copyright 2003, The Guardian (UK)
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