Houston Mosque Fire on Christmas Day Declared Arson

The fire caused "significant" damage, authorities said.

— -- A fire at a Houston mosque, resulting in "significant" damage, was declared an arson, authorities said Saturday.

The blaze erupted on Christmas Day around 2:45 p.m. in the house of worship on South Wilcrest Drive, according to the Houston Fire Department.

"Through the on-going investigation by the joint- investigative team...the investigation classification has been upgraded to INCENDIARY," the statement said.

No one was injured in the fire, which lasted about 40 minutes, the department said.

The case was under investigation by the Houston Arson Bureau.

"Because of the recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this fire," said Mustafaa Carroll, the Houston Executive Director of the organization Council on American-Islamic Relations.