The incident “is deeply disturbing — as an alum of @UDelaware and as an American,” read a tweet Thursday from Biden’s Twitter account. “We need a full and swift investigation into what happened Tuesday night. With anti-Semitism on the rise across the country, we all have a moral obligation to speak out and give hate no safe harbor.”
The Tuesday night blaze, which resulted in damages estimated at $150,000-$200,000, was ruled an arson by the state fire marshal on Wednesday. The blaze required 45 firefighters, including from neighboring fire companies, to bring the fire under control, according to local media reports.
“It is heartbreaking to learn the fire at the Chabad Center was set intentionally,” Jerry Clifton, the mayor of Newark, Delaware, said in a statement. “This is a sickening act of hostility that threatens the safety and security of our inclusive, welcoming neighborhoods. My thoughts are with the Jewish community and those affected by this tragedy.”
The Delaware fire comes just a week after another Chabad center, in Portland, Oregon, caught fire twice, though the cause of those blazes is still unknown.