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Overnight fire destroys building under construction by Islamic Center of Lake Travis

This building, which was under construction by the Islamic Center of Lake Travis, lies in ruins after a fire destroyed it overnight Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. (Photo courtesy Islamic Center of Lake Travis)

LAKE TRAVIS, Texas — A building under construction by the Islamic Center of Lake Travis is expected to be a complete loss after a fire fully engulfed it overnight, said the Travis County Fire Marshal’s Office and Lake Travis Fire and Rescue.

The call came in early Saturday morning at about 3:32 a.m. to report a structure on fire in the 4700 block of Dos Road in Lake Travis' Hudson Bend area, said Lake Travis Fire and Rescue.

When firefighters arrived, the structure was fully engulfed in flames and parts of the structure and scaffolding were collapsing, firefighters said.

Members of the Islamic Center of Lake Travis tell CBS Austin years of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars are gone.

“We had about four fundraisers over the last four years and raised close to $500,000,” said executive board member Junaid Siddiqui.

The Fire Marshal deemed the structure a complete loss and Siddiqui said they will have to start over. ICLT bought the land in 2012 and were looking forward to having a place to worship.

“The closest Mosque we have is 50 miles away. We were all excited looking forward to this project should've been completed by April,” Siddiqui said.

Progress pictures taken by ICLT members show just how close the building was to being finished. Siddiqui said this isn’t the center’s first set back. He said vandals have targeted the construction site before.

“I think it's just ignorance in part of people not knowing what the Islamic faith is all about,” Siddiqui said.

Siddiqui thinks the fire is suspicious because there was no electricity in the building, but said they’re not ready to jump to conclusions.

“We're going to stand up again you know as Americans we are going to do what's best for us and reconvene and come together as a community and try to rebuild this structure again,” Siddiqui said.

The Travis County Fire Marshal is investigating. At this time, it remains unknown what caused the fire or if it is suspicious.


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