NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The multi-alarm fire that gutted a historic synagogue in New Brunswick appears to have been accidental, county and local officials said Saturday.
The fire broke out at the Congregation Poile Zedek, an Orthodox Ashkenazic synagogue at 145 Neilson St., around 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
Within minutes, the whole structure was devoured by flames. Eight fire departments responded just before the roof collapsed.
By 6 p.m., the shell of the building was all that was left. Virtually nothing inside the synagogue was salvageable.
Members of the synagogue said all but one of their sacred Torah scrolls went up in flames along with the building itself.
Officials said preliminary investigations show the fire started on the first floor.
Poile Zedek was founded as a mutual aid society in 1901, with a congregation made up predominantly of Russian and Polish immigrants, according to its website.
There were no injuries in the blaze.
The official cause of the fire remains under investigation.