FDNY saves holy book from Midwood blaze

Brooklyn Daily
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The synagogue is in cinders, but the Torah was saved.

An E. 27th Street synagogue erupted in flames Thursday morning, engulfing all three floors of the building and, while there isn’t much left of the Jewish house of worship, New York’s Bravest boldly faced the flames to secure the doomed structure’s holy relic — the sacred Torah.

“Someone said the Torah was on the third floor, so we went inside,” said a FDNY spokesman. “Members of squad one, our special operations unit, went inside and grabbed the Torah. They saved it.”

First responders were called to the searing conflagration between avenues J and K at 9:53 am, where they found the three-story synagogue — a former home turned house of worship — engulfed in a roaring blaze, with fire and smoke spitting out the windows.

“The fire was coming out through the windows, flames and smoke, billowing,” said local resident Scott Korn. “It was very big.”

The city responded with 15 companies — 75 firefighters — for a battle that raged for three hours before the flames were quenched.

At one point, a synagogue member had alerted firefighters that their holy Torah was still within the holy places top floor, so New York’s Bravest responded with their A team — the special operations unit.

“It’s one of our special operation units, we sent them up to the third floor and they retrieved the Torah,” said an FDNY spokesman.

Before all was said and done, three fire fighters were rushed to Kings County Hospital — one in serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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