Fire destroys historic Minnesota synagogue; cause under investigation

An overnight fire Monday destroyed an historic 117-year-old synagogue in Duluth, Minn., officials said.

A firefighter was struck by falling debris and had to be rescued from the balcony of the Adas Israel Congregation synagogue in the city’s downtown, the Duluth Star Tribune reported. He was not seriously injured.

The fire at Duluth’s oldest-surviving Modern Orthodox Jewish synagogue was reported at 2:23 a.m. Monday, the paper reported.

“It’s not a good day,” a leading member told the paper, declining to comment further.

Firefighters rescued the Torah scrolls from the basement, the paper reported.

All that was left among the charred remains were the remnants of some structural walls.

Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Brent Consie said the structure was “pretty much a total loss.”

Officials haven’t said what caused the blaze.

Construction of the synagogue was completed in 1902.

The congregation dates back to the late 1800s.

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