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Synagogue accidently set on fire by roof worker with welding torch

More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze after Caeser Raynor accidentally ignited the flames on top of the synagogue that was built in the 1870s


By FireRescue1 Staff

NEW YORK — A synagogue built in the 1870s was destroyed after a worker accidently set it on fire with a welding torch.

NY Daily News reported that the congregation is mourning the loss of Bnai Adath Kol Beth Yisrael after Caeser Raynor accidentally ignited the flames while working on the roof, according to FDNY Deputy Chief Kevin Woods.

“In these old houses of worship — synagogues, churches — fire starts very rapidly in the void areas. This structure is over 100 years old,” Woods said. “Due to the structural stability of the building, we had to move all of our members outside, and we went to an exterior operation.”

More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours.

“My heart feels broken,” congregation member Kaveh Levi said. “There are so many emotions and thoughts and memories tied to this place. I was bar mitzvahed here. This is one of the places that keeps me grounded, that keeps me humble.”

Raynor faces charges of reckless endangerment and was given a desk appearance ticket.

 

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