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Fire at Arlington rabbi's home was possibly set, police say

Your Arlington reports a May 11 fire, for which police have released video of a possible suspect, is the home of a rabbi who heads the local orthodox Chabad center, which he runs out of his home. The head of the town's Human Rights Commission says there is no current evidence that the fire "was motivated by the identity of the homeowners."

Arlington Police did not initially identify the homeowner to protect his privacy, police said in a statement this afternoon:

At this time, the Arlington Police Department has not uncovered any information or evidence that indicates that the family was targeted or that there was any specific motivation or bias surrounding this incident. Nonetheless, the department is leaving open and actively investigating the possibility of a hate crime. No graffiti or other messages were found, and no evidence of chemical accelerants was immediately found. Arlington Police are collaborating with other law enforcement agencies to aid in the investigation.

Out of respect for the privacy of the resident, in the early phases of this investigation, we did not draw attention to the fact that the resident is a rabbi, but as this investigation has continued and after consulting with the resident and the Arlington Human Rights Commission, we unfortunately have to leave open all possibilities until the investigation is complete. We strongly encourage anyone who may have information about this fire or the suspicious person seen leaving the area to contact the Arlington Police Department.

The Arlington Police Department has added extra patrols to the area out of an abundance of caution.

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