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Saturday, February 15, 2014

CA - FBI Looking Into Fire At OC Jewish Temple Beth Sholom

SANTA ANA -  A fire Saturday raged for nearly an hour inside one of Orange County’s largest Jewish temples.

The blaze ignited shortly after 6 a.m. in the kitchen of Temple Beth Sholom, located at 2625 North Tustin Avenue, according to the OC Fire Authority.

Firefighters called a second alarm before snuffing the flames out at 7 a.m.

The incident was determined to be an accidental fire involving a refrigerator.

The OCFA estimated the blaze caused $200,000 in damage to the structure and $100,000 worth of damage to property.

According to its records, Temple Beth Sholom got its start in 1943, making it Orange County’s oldest Jewish synagogue. The temple moved to its Tustin Avenue structure in 1983, and its main building was remodeled in the 1990s.

In a statement released to the congregation online, the temple president Lynn Matassarin said they had saved the holy Torah scrolls.

In the meantime, the congregation won’t be able to access the facilities and all temple events have been canceled or postponed.

Under federal law, the FBI usually investigates fires at religious establishments. An FBI spokeswoman told City News Service the agency was looking into the initial report.

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