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Duluth synagogue gutted by fire, cause unknown

Updated: September 09, 2019 06:39 PM

Duluth firefighters were at the scene of a synagogue fire Monday morning.

The fire occurred in the Central Hillside neighborhood, WDIO-TV reports.

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Crews were called to the Adas Israel Congregation on East 3rd Street shortly after 2 a.m. on a report of a fire. WDIO-TV reports the fire was knocked down just before 6 a.m.

A firefighter who was reportedly struck by falling debris was taken to a nearby hospital. He has been treated and released, according to WDIO-TV. No other injuries were reported.

Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Brent Consie said the building "is pretty much a total loss."

There was no immediate word from fire officials on what started the blaze. The Fire Marshal was at the scene investigating. Duluth police, a Mayo Clinic ambulance, and Minnesota Power were on hand to assist.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said investigators have "interviewed a couple people of interest." During the same press conference, Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj said investigation shows no signs of accelerant were used, however, there will be further investigation. 

According to its website, the Adas Israel Congregation is an Orthodox/High Conservative Jewish congregation with a membership of 75 people. According to Krizaj, eight Torahs were saved from the fire. 

Construction of the synagogue was completed in 1902.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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