Monday, 25 Mar 2019 - 18 of Adar II, 5779

Massive fire engulfs synagogue in Cape Town, no injuries reported

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CAPETOWN—A fire tore through a synagogue in Cape Town on Tuesday night.

“A massive fire has engulfed the Beit Midrash Morasha synagogue in Sea Point, Cape Town,” said a statement by Rael Kaimowitz, chairman of the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD).

The blaze destroyed the roof of the building. No injuries were reported.

“At just before 11pm, the city’s fire and rescue services responded to a synagogue that was alight in Arthurs Road, Sea Point,” said Cape Town fire and rescue spokesman Theo Layne.

“Twenty-two firefighters, four fire engines, one aerial appliance and a rescue vehicle responded to the incident.

‘Every effort is being made to save any holy books and religious articles.’

The SAJBD said : ‘’We can confirm on behalf of the synagogue that there are no injuries. Investigators report no signs of foul play at this stage and await the outcome of a full investigation.’’

“The City of Cape Town fire and rescue services need to be thanked for their bravery as they battle this blaze. We know that every effort is being made to save any holy books and religious articles,’’ it said.

According to Howard Feldman, a South African Jewish journalist and writer, seven Torahs were destgroyed in the blaze. ‘’Early indications are that it was not an arson,’’ he tweeted.

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