Jewish synagogue, worship center destroyed in fire near St. Matthews

Fire damage.
Fire damage.(WAVE 3)
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 3:29 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An organization known for their outreach needs help of their own after a fire severely damaged the building early Saturday.

Around 4 a.m., firefighters were called to respond to the headquarters for Chabad of Kentucky in Almara Circle after a grease fire broke out, spokesperson for the Saint Matthews Fire Department Rick Tonini said.

The fire ignited inside a building adjoining the Chabad House, Tonini said.

St. Matthews firefighters among others districts extinguished the fire around 7 a.m. and cleared the building by 9 a.m.

Later that day around 12 p.m., the Chabad House caught fire, Tonini said. By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had quickly burned through the building, causing the roof to collapse.

Artifacts like Torah scrolls were rescued from the building after the initial fire and are still in tact.

“We saved the [Torah] scrolls,” Regional director of Chabad of Kentucky Rabbi Avrohom Litvin said. “Which is God’s word, the Old Testament in its original, in the Hebrew. No kids were here. No families were here so there was no loss of life. We thank God for all of those things and we say, ‘we’re here to do God’s will in whatever way that he shows us and we’re here to help the community.”

Litvin said several people have reached out to help, including Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Tonini said the quick acceleration of the fire in the synagogue caused Louisville Metro Arson Unit to start an investigation. No one was injured in either of the fires.

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