Buddhist temple once again targeted by arson

A Buddhist temple in Toronto was targeted in a hate crime overnight, according to police. It is the second time in less than a year that the Mahavihara Buddhist Meditation Centre has been hit by arson.

Police said Friday they found evidence at the centre to suggest the building's wooden wrap-around deck was deliberately set on fire, causing about $4,000 worth of damage.

No one was injured as a result of the incident.

Emergency crews were called to the Kingston Road centre just before 2 a.m. Friday after a passerby noticed the flames. Firefighters were able to clear the fire quickly but investigators say they located a number of gasoline-filled pop bottles under the deck when the smoke cleared.

Authorities allege a suspect lit the pop bottles on fire and left them under the deck.

"These bottles were spaced apart on the porch with the intention to accelerate the spread of the fire," Toronto Fire Services said in a news release.

The K-9 unit was deployed and tracking dogs followed a scent all the way to Morningside Park. Police say the suspect may have gotten into a car and drove away from the scene at that point.

The temple is not equipped with security cameras but police say they are hoping a camera next door caught a glimpse of the suspects.

In May 2009, police investigated a similar attack at the centre. Authorities told CTV News that gasoline-filled devices were thrown at the building to set it on fire.

No one was arrested as a result of the May incident.

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