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Fire Destroys Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo; $1,000,000 Damage Reported

October 6, 1961
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Buffalo Fire Department began an investigation today of a blaze that destroyed Temple Beth Zion and its school last night. Damage was estimated at about $1,000,000.

The fire apparently began among painters’ supplies stored in the synagogue basement. The structure, which seated 1,400 persons, was remodeled this summer at a cost of $50,000. A total of 35 pieces of apparatus and 125 firemen fought the spectacular blaze.

Dr. Joseph L. Fink, rabbi emeritus, had voiced hope, as he watched the blaze, that the synagogue’s sacred articles could be saved but most of them were lost in the fire. Swastikas were painted on the walls of the temple in April 1960 and at that time, the rabbi, Dr. Martin L. Goldberg, received a threatening letter.

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