September 15, 2019 | eight:43pm
A Minnesota man has been arrested for torching an almost 120-year-old synagogue, though police aren’t calling the incident a hate crime but, authorities stated Sunday.
Matthew J. Amiot, 36, was booked Friday on arson fees in reference to final Monday’s blaze, which decimated the historic Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth, Minnesota, Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken stated at a press convention.
However at this level within the investigation, there’s “no reason to believe this is a bias or hate crime,” Tusken stated.
“That may change,” he stated. “But at this point in time, that is the determination I have.”
Duluth Hearth Chief Shawn Krizaj stated flames erupted round 2:30 a.m. outdoors the home of worship however “quickly spread through voids in the wall space and spread throughout the synagogue.”
Nobody was inside on the time.
Firefighters hosed down the wood-framed constructing for not less than 5 hours earlier than it collapsed right into a pile of charred rubble.
Six Torah scrolls, handwritten on parchment paper, had been destroyed. One firefighter was injured.
No accelerants had been discovered on the scene, Krizaj stated.
Firefighters on the synagogue after the hearth.
Sam Pomush, whose grandfather was one of many synagogue’s founders, appears to be like on the injury.
Flowers left on the steps of the synagogue.
Police are unaware of any earlier contact or connection between Amiot, who isn’t Jewish, and the synagogue. He has no recognized everlasting tackle nor a rap sheet, cops stated.
Amiot is being held within the St. Louis County Jail and can seem in court docket Monday.
Established within the late 19th century, the synagogue was the oldest trendy Orthodox home of worship in northern Minnesota.
Rabbi Phillip Sher, who leads the congregation, referred to as the firefighters “heroic.”
“They went into a building that was still burning to save some of our artifacts,” he stated. “The bravery of these men is just incredible.”
Sher says he has been comforting members of his congregation mourning the lack of their sacred house.
“True Judaism is in the heart,” he famous. “It’s not in the building.”