HEMPSTEAD - A fire ripped through a Hempstead synagogue just two weeks before Hanukkah.

Synagogue member Alan Mantis says a fire started at Congregation Beth Israel in Hempstead after workers used a torch to remove chipping paint on windows. The fire destroyed caretaker Rolando Ramos' apartment, the rabbi's office and the library.

Aside from some smoke damage, the sanctuary is intact. The synagogue is expected to be up and running for Saturday services and a wedding the day after Thanksgiving.

No one was injured in the fire.