Officials say blaze at White Plains synagogue doesn't look suspicious
Massive flames broke out around 10 a.m. Tuesday inside Temple Bet Am Shalom on Soundview Avenue in the Temple Hill section of White Plains. Fire officials say it does not appear at this time that any foul play was involved. Members of Temple Bet Am Shalom stood in disbelief as they watched their synagogue go up in flames. The flames were so fierce that firefighters were prevented from attempting to enter the synagogue when they arrived. There were a few synagogue workers in the house of worship at the time the fire broke out, but they got out safely.According to reports from the scene, the temple's torah scrolls were rescued from a part of the building that was not immediately endangered.
With help from Greenville, Hartsdale and New Rochelle fire departments the firefighters were able to get the fire under control in the afternoon. Firefighters say they plan on staying on the scene to keep an eye on hotspots. The synagogue was originally an old mansion, which was converted into a house of worship back in the 1950s. Bet Am Shalom Synagogue is a Reconstructionist congregation of about 400 families.Click here to hear reaction from Bet Am Shalom congregation members.