The federal government today offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for two arsons in Newark in August.
“At this time, investigators do not have evidence linking the two fires together but have not ruled out that possibility,” according to a statement from the Baltimore office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The fires were on Aug. 25 at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, destroying it, and on Aug. 17 at a townhouse under construction, causing $5,000 in damage.
The Chabad Center, at 262 S. College Ave., serves University of Delaware students.
“There is currently no indication to suggest that this fire was a hate crime,” the bureau said in a press release.
A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $500,000 to build an improved Chabad Center that’s double the size of the one that burned. County records describe the house as a 1930 Cape Cod with almost 2,000 square feet.
“Someone destroyed more than the little blue house,” the campaign says. “They destroyed the walls that held 20+ years of memories, life, and laughter. … In the shadow of the fire, and amongst the ashes, a light of unity will shine brighter and much longer than the fire of destruction.”
Shortly after 3 a.m. on Aug. 17, a fire was discovered inside a townhouse under construction in the unit block of East Cleveland Avenue. “An individual was captured on video surveillance in the area of East Cleveland Avenue on the morning of the fire [and] has been referred to as a person of interest but may be a witness,” a press release said.