In Hamtramck, Bangladesh Hindu Temple Burns; FBI Investigates

August 24, 2006

Source: The Detroit News

On August 24, 2006 The Detroit News reported, "Members are still in shock and left scrambling for a place to worship after a fire burned the Bangladesh Hindu Temple to the ground. A steady stream of worshipers flocked to the charred remains of the 3-year-old temple Wednesday afternoon. Only two walls remain after an all-night fire that struck as members prepared for a religious festival in September. 'It's more than a (temple),' said Utpal Dutta, 50, of Troy, who took his two children to the scene so they could understand the impact. 'It's a people gathering place. It's all the people coming together. I feel very sad. The people put so much effort into building this thing, and now it's down the drain.' Federal investigators said it may take more than a week to know what sparked the blaze that started about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday and took eight hours to control. FBI and U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Department agents joined the probe. 'We don't have any clues yet,' said Hamtramck Fire Chief James Szafarczyk. 'I hope we can catch the person, and if it wasn't a person, what caused this. This could be just an accidental fire'... The Bangladesh Hindu Temple, which has a membership of about 200 people, was at Grayling near Lumpkin, about two doors down from the Holbrook Elementary School inside a former Ukrainian Democratic Club, Szafarczyk said."