Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun Fire: Fire Devastates Synagogue Under Repair in Manhattan

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Source: NYT, 7-12-11

Fire Devastates Synagogue Under Repair in Manhattan

Miles Dixon

Firefighters on the 84th Street side of Kehilath Jeshurun, a modern Orthodox synagogue, during the blaze on Monday.

A four-alarm fire broke out Monday night at an Upper East Side synagogue that was being renovated, spitting flames through stained-glass windows, destroying the roof and heavily damaging the upper floors, the Fire Department said.

No one was badly injured in the blaze, which obscured the sky over much of the neighborhood with smoke. Four firefighters received minor injuries battling the blaze, which fire officials said apparently began on the roof. The cause was not known.

Hundreds of people crowded around Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, a modern Orthodox synagogue on 85th Street near Lexington Avenue, after the fire began about 8:30 p.m.

About 170 firefighters fought the blaze, which took about an hour to bring under control.

Onlookers gaped and snapped pictures with cellphone cameras as flames shot up from the roof.

“It went up like that,” said Stephen L. Ruzow, chairman of the FDNY Foundation and a member of the synagogue, who saw the flames engulf the roof. “Flames were 40 feet in the air, and there were large clouds of thick black smoke.”…READ MORE

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