fb-pixel Skip to main content

Arlington police are investigating a suspicious fire at the home of a local rabbi last weekend as a possible hate crime, the department announced Wednesday.

Wood shingles were found burning on the side of the home on Lake Street when firefighters arrived at about 11 p.m. on Saturday, police said in a press release.

The rabbi, who was not identified, his wife and two children were seated in their car parked in the driveway. The family got out of the house after a fire alarm went off and they smelled smoke, according to police.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, which did not spread to the house. But police and fire officials “ . . quickly determined that the fire was suspicious,” the release said.


The rabbi told police he holds services at his home, but had not received any threats or noticed anything suspicious, police said.

Investigators have not yet discovered evidence to suggest the family was targeted “ . . . or that there was any specific motivation or bias surrounding this incident,” the release said.

Still, the department “ . . . actively investigating the possibility of a hate crime.”

Video from a neighbor’s outdoor security camera provided to police shows a “ . . . man or a woman with a specific gait/posture walking away from the area during the time of the fire,” the release said.

The video has been released to the public. Police ask anyone who recognizes the person to contact them at 781-643-1212.

Adam Sennott can be reached at adam.sennott@globe.com