Torah Scroll Remnants from Adas Israel Synagogue Fire Caught in Garage Fire

Remnants of four Torah scrolls stored in storage garage to be buried, garage caught fire Sunday.

DULUTH, Minn.- More than two months since the Adas Israel Synagogue burned to the ground, a new tragedy has struck the congregation–remnants of four Torah scrolls that were damaged in the original fire were caught in another fire Sunday.

Rabbi Phillip Sher of the Adas Israel Congregation said the remnants of those four Torah scrolls were stored in that garage for synagogue leaders to bury, as per Jewish tradition when religious items are damaged beyond repair.

Unfortunately, that storage garage in the 300 Block of East Second Street in the Central Hillside Neighborhood caught on fire.

The garage houses five storage units–three on the top floor where the Torah remnants were stored, and two on the bottom floor where the fire broke out.

Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj said responding to a second fire affecting the Adas Israel Congregation is an unfortunate coincidence.

“It was really kinda surprising actually and of course always raises some concerns with what’s going on,” Krizaj said.

“It was just really an unfortunate kind of a coincidence that this happened to be, that’s where they were stored and then we had another fire there so it’s just kind of really unfortunate.”

Krizaj added he is not aware of how much damage the remnants suffered, and that this is currently an active investigation.

Rabbi Sher, who was unable to sit for an interview, said whatever was left of the Torah remnants after the garage fire still has to be buried in the right manner.

In the original synagogue fire at least a half dozen Torah scrolls were saved.

Meanwhile the congregation has not decided if they will rebuild their synagogue.

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