Fires reported in New Britain

The Congregation Tephereth Israel Synagogue on Winter Street and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church on Franklin Square both caught fire Friday night.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — The suspect in police custody following two fires Friday night in New Britain has been identified, Mayor Erin Stewart said.

Kimorah Parker, 30, has been charged with arson and third-degree burglary.

The fires broke out at a church and a synagogue in the city, and Fire Chief Raul Ortiz told FOX61 that preliminary investigations indicate both were started intentionally, pending confirmation from the fire marshal.

Ortiz says police and firefighters, along with Mayor Erin Stewart, are surveying other places of worship in Hardware Town to make sure they are safe.

The first fire was reported at 76 Winter St. at the Congregation Tephereth Israel Synagogue on Winter Street. Ortiz said there was extensive damage there.

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A second fire was later reported at 95 Franklin Sq. at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. Minimal damage was reported there.

FOX61 has learned that the State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit is also assisting in the investigation.

The suspect has not been identified at this time.

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This story is still in development.

Daniel Dashefsky is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at [email protected].

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