Torah scrolls damaged in synagogue fire burned in garage

Published 7:45 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2019

DULUTH — Damaged Torah scrolls and prayer books that were salvaged from a Duluth synagogue fire in September have burned again in a garage fire.

Officials of Adas Israel Synagogue said the items were being kept in the garage and were to be buried in keeping with Jewish tradition.

The garage fire broke out Sunday in Duluth’s Central Hillside.

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Fire officials said the garage fire is not suspicious, but the cause is under investigation.

Former synagogue president Phillip Sher said the damaged scrolls still will be buried.

A homeless man admitted starting the fire that destroyed the 117-year-old synagogue. Matthew Amiot told police he tried to spit on the fire to put it out, but walked away when that didn’t work. Police don’t believe the synagogue fire was a hate crime.