2 firefighters injured as early morning fire destroys makeshift synagogue in Lawrence

Fire crews responded to the fire at the Seagirt Avenue home after a neighbor said he saw smoke coming into his apartment just after midnight.

News 12 Staff

Feb 5, 2021, 12:11 AM

Updated 1,172 days ago

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A raging early morning fire destroyed a Lawrence home that was operating as a makeshift synagogue.
Fire crews responded to the fire at the Seagirt Avenue home after a neighbor said he saw smoke coming into his apartment just after midnight.
"Apartment here was filled with smoke, so I ran out in my underwear and I called 911," says Will Abrams. "Next thing I know there's a little smoke coming out, and it just exploded in flames."
Cellphone video of the fire. (courtesy Will Abrams)
Officials say no one was inside the home at the time, but two firefighters were injured when part of its roof collapsed. They were taken to a hospital and treated for neck and shoulder pain.
Three departments responded to the fire, including the FDNY since the home is right on the Queens-Long Island border.
The firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to the neighboring houses.
News 12 is told the house was renovated to be a synagogue and only opened last year just before the pandemic.
One of the owners of the synagogue says they plan to raise money to rebuild.
Not everything was lost in the fire -- Abrams says he and a neighbor ran into the building before the fire got out of hand and saved the Torah and other religious items.
"My mom told me never run in a burning building, and I think that's good advice," says Abrams. "I did what I could to help clean up, and we're going to rebuild."
The Nassau Fire Marshal's Office says they're still working to figure out what caused the fire, but it does not appear to be suspicious.


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