United States

NYPD Believes Lower East Side Synagogue Fire Was Arson

The blaze destroyed the historic Beth Hamedrash Hagadol building

The inferno that destroyed a historic synagogue on Manhattan's Lower East Side last Sunday appears to have been arson, a top NYPD official said Tuesday.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters that video had been recovered as part of the investigation. 

Authorities believe the fire started from within the historic Congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagadol. Fire marshals began conducting a ground search at the synagogue on Norfolk Street Monday, about 12 hours after the three-alarm blaze tore through the 19th century structure.

According to the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, the congregation is the oldest for orthodox Russian Jews in the United States, and occupied the 1850s-era building since 1885. The synagogue closed in 2007.

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