PATERSON – Muslim community members vowed Wednesday to establish a community center even as investigators sought the cause of a fire that destroyed a historic building proposed as the center’s home.

Plans had been in the works to convert the abandoned warehouse on West Railway and Genessee avenues into a community center with a focus on youth, but the unexplained fire ravaged the three-story building in less than an hour Sunday.

“The cause is undetermined,” said Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano. “We are continuing with our investigation.”

Staff from the county’s arson unit and city Fire Department have searched the site for clues and sent items to the state police laboratory for analysis. Avigliano said authorities have interviewed many people, and are seeking others. (MORE)


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