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May 10, 2022 8:18 am

Blaze Destroys Torah Scrolls, Chabad House Serving Florida State University

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The Florida State University campus, in Tallahassee, Florida. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – A fire ripped through Chabad-Lubavitch of the Panhandle, in Tallahassee, Fla., gutting the newly renovated building and consuming the Torah scrolls.

The Tallahassee Fire Department confirmed that firefighters were dispatched to the Chabad center at 3:21 am on Sunday.

“Crews found fire showing and heavy smoke coming from the eaves,” the fire department wrote in a statement. The cause of the fire, which ravaged the 11,000-square-foot building, is under investigation. No injuries were reported.

Chabad-Lubavitch of the Panhandle was established in 2000 and serves the Jewish student population at Florida State University, in addition to the general Jewish community in Tallahassee. Rabbi Schneur Zalman Oirechman, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch of the Panhandle with his wife, Chanie, said the loss is devastating.

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Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s chief financial officer and state fire marshal, tweeted on Sunday: “The State Fire Marshal’s Office is on the scene and will have better access to the site once the smoldering ends. Rabbi Oirechman is a fixture in Tallahassee’s Jewish community, and we offer up our thoughts and prayers.”

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