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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Elizabeth, NJ Mosque Fire

    ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - A five-alarm fire caused extensive damage
    to the city's largest mosque Sunday night.
    The blaze at the Dar-Ul-Islam Mosque kept 20 fire crews from
    throughout Union County busy for several hours. Several
    firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion, but no injuries were
    reported.
    More than 100 people, most of whom were members of the mosque's
    congregation, gathered across the street as fire crews battled the
    blaze.
    Firefighters rescued a trapped man from a second-floor window as
    flames consumed the historic building. Mujahid Abdur-Rahman, a
    mosque security guard, was uninjured. He made the initial call to
    emergency offi-cials shortly after 7 p.m. to report the fire.
    The building's roof collapsed and Richard Earl, deputy chief of
    the Elizabeth Fire Department, said there was also a partial
    collapse between the second and third floors.
    Earl said the cause of the fire is unknown.
    The mosque is the largest of three mosques in Elizabeth. Imam
    Ali Jaaber told The Star-Ledger of Newark that it took over the
    building that housed the former Vail-Deane School 10 years ago.
    About 500 to 600 people attend the mosque on Friday evenings.
    Jaaber said the congregation was preparing to open a school on
    the site in the fall.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Not suspicious

    By WAYNE PARRY
    Associated Press Writer
    ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - Smoke was still wafting from the upper
    reaches of Union County's largest mosque Monday morning, hours
    after a fast-moving fire gutted it, and members of the 1,000-strong
    congregation were already vowing to rebuild it.
    The cause of the five-alarm blaze at the Dar-Ul-Islam mosque
    remained under investigation, but did not appear to be suspicious,
    said Assistant Union County Prosecutor Robert O'Leary.
    "There's no evidence of arson or anything suspicious at this
    time," he said.
    A formal cause will be determined within a few days, he said.
    Abdellah Abdul Qawi, a mosque member, said it had never received
    any threats.
    He said mosque members will probably worship at one of the
    city's two remaining mosques until temporary quarters can be found.
    "A situation like this does one of two things: It brings you
    together or pulls you apart," said Qawi, who conferred with fire
    department investigators outside the charred three-story building
    that once housed an exclusive girls' preparatory school, the
    Vail-Dean Academy.
    Firefighters rescued a trapped man from a second-floor window as
    flames consumed the historic building. Mujahid Abdur-Rahman, a
    mosque security guard, was uninjured. He made the initial call to
    emergency officials shortly after 7 p.m. to report the fire.
    Mosque members cried and prayed across the street as the fire
    raged Sunday evening.
    "We put a lot of work into this place, a lot of work," Qawi
    said, wearing an olive green Muslim robe and white skullcap. The
    mosque had occupied the building since 1995.
    The mosque had planned to open an Islamic school there in the
    fall, but those plans now look impossible, Qawi said.
    "I don't think we'll be able to do it," he said. "The damage
    is too great."
    The building's roof collapsed, as did portions of the second and
    third floors. Mujahid Abdur-Rahman, a mosque security guard who
    reported the fire, was trapped at a second-floor window as flames
    consumed the building, but he was soon rescued by firefighters.
    Several firefighters had minor injuries, but none required
    hospitalization.
    Qawi was heartened that the building's sturdy brick outer walls
    appeared unscathed aside from soot where flames shot out of the
    windows. The six towering white pillars that marked the entrance to
    the historic building also remained intact.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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