A Houston fire truck. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Firefighters in Texas were able to rescue the Torah scrolls from a burning synagogue earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Investigators are looking into what ignited the blaze at the Torah Vachesed synagogue in southwest Houston on Wednesday night as dozens of congregants were attending a study session inside. Arson has not been ruled out.
No one was injured in the fire at the Sephardic Orthodox institution.
Emergency responders prevented congregants from running back into the building to save the Torah scrolls, taking on the task for themselves instead.
“I really want to thank the firefighters and police for their bravery, their sensitivity and understanding,” Rabbi Avraham Yaghobian was quoted as saying. “We were willing to jump in there, even if some of us were arrested, just to walk in and take those things. We would take whatever damage to our bodies. We didn’t want our holy articles being hurt. The firefighters saw how important it was. They were caring.”
Planning is already underway to rebuild the gutted synagogue, the Houston Chronicle reported.