[EXCLUSIVE VIDEO & PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]
A fire broke out in the Satmar Bais Medrash on South 8th Street near Bedford Avenue early Sunday morning, and the FDNY was able to remove all the Sifrei Torah from the building. Tragically, hundreds of pairs of Tefillin were destroyed.
The Shul – belonging to the Kehilla of the Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg, Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum Shlita – is located at 109 South 8th Street, and is attached to a building full of residential apartments. The thick smell of smoke woke people up a little before 5:00AM, who began calling the FDNY and Hatzolah.
The FDNY arrived in just minutes, and found a fire in the basement and first floor of the building. They quickly called for a second alarm to respond. Williamsburg Hatzolah dispatched at least three ambulances, as well as Paramedics and EMT’s. The Williamsburg Shomrim were on the scene as well.
Bichasdei Hashem, there were no injuries reported. Hatzolah treated a few people with oxygen for smoke inhalation, but besides that, Hatzolah was Boruch Hashem not needed.
The hundreds of people who had gathered on the street to watch the emergency personnel all breathed a sigh of relief when the firefighters began carrying out the Sifrei Torah from the Shul.
As already stated, hundreds of pairs of Tefillin were destroyed, as well as alot of Seforim.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but sources tell YWN that arson is not being suspected.
YWN photographer Hillel Engel was on the scene and has provided the readers of YWN exclusive video and photo of the incident.
YWN PHOTO LINK: Click HERE for photos.
THE SIFREI TORAH BEING REMOVED BEGINS AT 6:30 IN VIDEO
To watch video on a mobile device click HERE.
(Yehuda Drudgestein – YWN)