A spectacular, seven-alarm fire roared through a synagogue yesterday, injuring eight people, some of whom rushed into the burning building to save the congregation's holy scrolls as the ceiling collapsed.
"It was one of the worst fires I can remember," said a fire dispatcher of the blaze, which caused an estimated $500,000 in damage to the Tiferth Israel Temple.
Cause of the blaze, which began in the rear of the one-story, wood-brick building and raged uncontrolled for about two hours, was under investigation.
More than 100 firefighters from 14 communities were called to fight the blaze in the Boston suburb, and the congregation's rabbi and three Roman Catholic firefighter chaplains, backed by three firemen, rushed inside to save the congregation's seven Torah scrolls.
A ceiling collapsed as the men dashed to the altar and plucked out the Torahs; several firefighters rushed in to aid them.
The Torahs were saved and none of the injuries--to six firefighters and two ambulance attendants--were serious.
The Boston area has been hit by a series of fires, almost all of them in vacant buildings and suspected arson, in the last few weeks. Many of them have been on Fridays, and authorities have labeled the suspects "Friday firebugs." CAPTION: Picture, An Everett, Mass., firefighter takes a Torah handed him from the Tiferth Israel Temple. Damage was estimated at $500,000. UPI