Apparent arson at second kosher business in same Montreal mall

The scene at the Montreal Kosher Bakery after a suspicious fire, June 28, 2021. (Screenshot Montreal CTV News)

A second kosher business in the same strip mall has been the target of a suspected firebombing attempt in as many weeks.

The police arson squad is investigating a small fire at the Montreal Kosher Bakery located in a strip mall on St. Louis Street in the St. Laurent borough. Police received a 911 call around 1:45 a.m. on June 28 about a broken window at the establishment.

Firefighters found an unspecified source of the fire inside the store which was quickly extinguished.  Damage is minor and no one was in the store at the time.

In the early hours of June 14, the kosher restaurant Chez Benny Express a few doors away was similarly broken into. A glass door was shattered and an attempt was made to set a fire, which did not spread.

Originally police said they were treating the earlier incident as a possible hate crime but later pursued it as arson. Police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant said what happened at the Montreal Kosher Bakery is not at this time considered hate-motivated because no graffiti or any other sign of an anti-Semitic nature was found.

No suspect has been identified, and police are investigating whether there is any link between the two incidents.

B’nai Brith Canada tweeted the afternoon of June 28: “We are appalled to see Montreal Kosher Bakery, an important business in our community, become the latest victim of a potential hate crime. We will continue to stay in touch with police on the matter and encourage everyone to stay vigilant.”