By COLlive staff
Arlington Police are trying to identify a suspicious person seen walking away from the Chabad Center of Arlington, MA, shortly after a suspicious fire broke out.
On Saturday night around 11 p.m., Arlington Police and Fire were called to a home on Lake Street to investigate a fire alarm, Boston 25 News reported.
Responders were met by the homeowners and their three children, who were inside a car in the driveway.
“We smelled a lot of smoke,” said Rabbi Avi Bukiet. “There was a ton of smoke inside in the basement going up to the first floor.”
Rabbi Bukiet told police that he and his wife and children left the home after they heard the alarm and smelled smoke. They were not injured in the incident.
Firefighters found a small fire burning on the wood shingles of one side of the home. The fire was quickly extinguished and the damage was minor.
“There were embers from the fire all the way going to the inside of the house,” Rabbi Bukiet said.
VIDEO: Surveillance footage
The fire was deemed suspicious. Police are investigating if the home was targeted, as it doubles as the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Arlington, a well-known place in the community for religious services and education.
Bukiet says his synagogue hasn’t received any threats. Since the fire, Bukiet says, community leaders have offered their support to his family.
“An unsettling time for everyone, but there’s so much love and so much support that goes around and at these moments you see people coming to the fore and coming to the surface and really showing how much of a community we are,” he said.
During the investigation, a neighbor approached police and offered footage from his outdoor security camera. The footage, which is being released to the public, shows a man or woman with a specific gait/posture walking away from the area during the time of the fire.
Police are hopeful that someone will recognize the suspicious person or their particular way of walking, and that public input will lead to their identification.
Anyone with information on this incident, or who recognizes the individual in the surveillance video, is asked to contact the Arlington Police Department at 781-643-1212.