Fire at historic New Jersey synagogue believed to be accidental


(JTA) — A fire that destroyed a historic synagogue in New Jersey appears to be accidental, according to a preliminary investigation.

The fire on Friday at the Poile Zedek synagogue in New Brunswick, in the central part of the state, left only the shell of the building and destroyed everything inside, according to local reports.

One of the Torah scrolls was saved by the synagogue’s rabbi, Abraham Mykoff, who raced into the building and carried it out before the ceiling collapsed.

The synagogue caretaker, who was in the building when the fire started on Friday afternoon, called emergency services and safely evacuated the building, according to reports.

The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

Roads around the synagogue were closed and adjacent buildings evacuated out of fear that the fire would spread.

An investigation continues into the cause of the fire, officials said.

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