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Brooklyn Synagogue Almost Destroyed by Fire; Report Heavy Smell of Gasoline at Scene

A Brooklyn synagogue, Congregation Kesser Torah, was nearly destroyed by fire early yesterday. A spokesman for the Fire Department said the blaze was not of suspicious origin despite earlier reports at the scene referring to a “heavy smell of gasoline.” The two-alarm fire, which began shortly after midnight, was brought under control some 45 minutes later. Damage due to the fire included charring of prayer books. Officials of the congregation could not be reached for immediate comment. On July 20, the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council in Brooklyn, and a nearby two-family residence, was firebombed. The interior of the Council a storefront operation – was heavily damaged.