Fire destroys partially constructed Austin Islamic center


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed an Islamic center that was under construction in Austin.

Lake Travis Fire and Rescue says the three-story building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived early Saturday morning. The Travis County fire marshal is investigating the fire at the Islamic Center of Lake Travis building.

Islamic center board member Shakeel Rashed tells the Austin American-Statesman that ironically, it was a fire that initially brought together members of what became the Islamic Center of Lake Travis. He says that while helping raise funds for victims of an area wildfire in 2011, he and others realized that there was sizable Muslim community and a need for an Islamic center.

He says members raised about $500,000 for the new center.

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